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Shadow Pattern

Chimerism (2CD)

Label: Adhuman

Format: 2CD

Genre: Experimental

In process of stocking


Nathan Ivanco’s Shadow Pattern, based in Hamilton, Ontario, is a project for whom the term ‘under-the-radar’ is a cute understatement. Operating with scant regard for the cultivation of listenership or exposure, Ivanco’s work - both as Shadow Pattern and through his Hamilton Tapes label - usually manifests via subterraneously low-key tape editions that rarely if ever make out of his home country of Canada. Typically these releases are procured by direct contact with Ivanco himself and forgo the usual online Noise tape hype cycle. No bandcamp, no webstores, no promo, no bullshit. Lucky for those of us a bit further afield, then, that Ivanco has allowed adhuman to present ‘Chimerism’: a timely gathering of mostly self-released titles circa 2019-2023 in a handy 2xCD primer.

In speaking of Shadow Patterns musical approach one could mention similarities to the mid 00’s era of grimy USA basement noise and home taping, interpreted perhaps by the lo-fi obscurantism of fellow countrymen Korea Undok Group or the equally murky Makade Star outfit. Mangled, stripped-back samples are subjected to the crudest of electronic processing whilst washed-out ambience saturated with tape hiss and eerie recurring motifs gently propel themselves across multiple tracks. Elsewhere more outwardly experimental and freeform works appear in the mix, impressing the idea that these pieces were vehicles to document Ivanco’s ongoing sonic interests as much as eventual committed, final works. Above all, there is quiet sophistication evident in Ivanco’s knack for arrangement and pace evoking the most classical instincts of concrete sound obsession even within such deeply homemade sonic environs.

Presented in free-flowing sequence across both discs, the formerly distinct tracks play out in a longer form which lends new shape and context to the music. Despite sitting firmly in ‘reissue’ territory, ‘Chimerism’ offers a refreshing angle from which to indulge in Shadow Pattern’s rough beauty and may well highlight areas of the project’s vision which have until now gone unnoticed. 

Cat. number: adh007
Year: 2024
All music originally recorded during 2019-2023 and previously released on Hamilton Tapes and Radiant Clay Records.