Pan-American, Quiet City
Blurring the label's rich traditions of processed guitar drone with musique concrÃ¨te
Some of Kranky's greatest releases are those that dissolve rhythm and float free into wide open imaginative spaces. Certain acts, like Ethernet, work entirely with electronics, but more often, as with Pan American, they blur the label's rich traditions of processed guitar drone with musique concrète, ambient and even new age music to make elegantly layered sounds in which one can get completely lost. But this is not music to switch off to, and doesn't offer the anodyne comfort of "chillout": As the title perhaps suggests, Quiet City invites contemplation and exploration of its spaces, but like any city, while it is complex and beautiful, there is dirt and threat here too. Like sitting outside in chilly dawn air in the aftermath of a chaotic night or on the morning before a life-changing decision, it feels like it exists outside of the usual routine of things.