Dreissk: The Finding

Mike Cadoo's n5MD imprint has now been in operation long enough that its first generation of artists has now started inspiring a second, with Kevin Patzelt aka Dreissk a case study. Legend has it that after graduating from college in the San Francisco and Seattle areas where he began DJing and dipping his toes into the electronic music pool, Patzelt was working as a sound designer in the gaming industry when a friend introduced him to n5MD via the label's One Five Zero compilation. That proved to be a watershed moment for Patzelt as it became a catalyst towards the creation of The Finding, his debut full-length under the Dreissk name for, yes, none other than n5MD.

The hour-long collection shows his sound to be a natural fit for the label, as it perpetuates its long-standing commitment to high-intensity ambient-electronica, but it also finds Patzelt doing more than merely replicate existing artistic gestures. One thing's for sure: The Finding is no wallflower. The album turns combustible when rippling shards of synthetic patterns appear on the horizon in “To That Which Binds Me” and then explode in a blaze of beats and atmospheric thunder. The synthesizer patterns in “Depart” pulsate with ever-increasing ferocity until the resonant chime of an electric guitar also joins in, escalating the aggressive pitch of the material even further. “Emergence” builds slowly in a manner befitting its eleven-minute running time, and lays out a solid pulsating foundation before hard-hitting beats enter halfway through to extend the track's epic reach.

One of The Finding's distinguishing characteristics is that it's rarely static; instead, a given setting starts out in one place and then develops dramatically throughout its run, with elements moving in and out of the mix as the mood dictates. There's also a striking contrast between the epic character of the material and the fact that a good portion of it's beatless (the penultimate “Disappearance” a good example)—think of it as a dynamic ambient-shoegaze hybrid that also pulls into its orbit wide-screen soundscaping and cosmic explorations.

June 2011