Pan American is the solo side project of Mark Nelson, who is one of the members of the guitar-based group Labradford. On “The River Made No Sound”, his third record, Nelson brings ambient melodies adrift and in a new light, floating up to the shoreline. Dub influences emerge gently and continue throughout the record. A metaphysical clock propels each song’s distinct ticking pattern in codified synchronicity. Quiet humming modulates around a constant pulsing rhythm that is quite reminiscent of the minimal European techno group Basic Channel. Both Pan American and Basic Channel treat their music like a verb, or a channel of action leading the listener somewhere. Field-recorded samples appear to be temporary markers of movement. Samples are important here because they add to the physicality of a record that continuously stretches, like a musical rubber sheet of space and time. Now and then blissful washes of fuzzy white noise round the edges of each track and cover it in a soft screen. What is left out is expressed through conscious omission on Nelson’s part and what is exposed is basic, yet original sound. While I can’t speak to the vision of the artists themselves, I feel as though projects like Labradford and Pan American require a form of crucial listening – deep. The river may not have made a sound, but the impression Pan American leaves on this album is an observable gift that simultaneously gives and receives.
St. Cloud - Pan American

Pan American is the solo side project of Mark Nelson, who is one of the members of the guitar-based group Labradford. On “The River Made No Sound”, his third record, Nelson brings ambient melodies adrift and in a new light, floating up to the shoreline. Dub influences emerge gently and continue throughout the record. A metaphysical clock propels each song’s distinct ticking pattern in codified synchronicity. Quiet humming modulates around a constant pulsing rhythm that is quite reminiscent of the minimal European techno group Basic Channel. Both Pan American and Basic Channel treat their music like a verb, or a channel of action leading the listener somewhere. Field-recorded samples appear to be temporary markers of movement. Samples are important here because they add to the physicality of a record that continuously stretches, like a musical rubber sheet of space and time. Now and then blissful washes of fuzzy white noise round the edges of each track and cover it in a soft screen. What is left out is expressed through conscious omission on Nelson’s part and what is exposed is basic, yet original sound. While I can’t speak to the vision of the artists themselves, I feel as though projects like Labradford and Pan American require a form of crucial listening – deep. The river may not have made a sound, but the impression Pan American leaves on this album is an observable gift that simultaneously gives and receives.

St. Cloud - Pan American

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