Patrice Scott: Euphonium, The Album
Quite a long journey has brought Patrice Scott to his first full-length artist album. To be precise, nine years have passed since the founding of the Detroit-based producer's Sistrum Recordings imprint, during which time he's issued eleven solo EPs and a number of collaborative projects on the label. Now comes Euphonium, The Album, nine stellar cuts available in a double-vinyl package (digital, of course, too) and crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail.
In starting the fifty-four-minute collection with “A Detroit State of Mind,” a characteristically refined production that's emblematic of the artist's style, Scott is upfront about declaring where his allegiance lies. In this opening salvo, tension builds as silken synth washes waver o'ertop a punchy percussive base, the synth chords alternating between pitches without resolution until “Distr5th” presents a comparatively less unsettling combination of bass pulsations, skipping snares, and synthesizer flourishes.
Without sacrificing any of his music's physical vitality, Scott weaves a given piece's layers into an artful and entrancing whole rich in counterpoint and syncopation. Tracks such as “Escapism,” “They Walk The Earth,” “Music Therapy Pt.2,” and “Hysteria” are masterfully realized set-pieces that engage on both physical and intellectual levels, and a muscular cut such as “The Dark Dance” (E.T.A. Mix) packs a seriously visceral punch, too. Every element is considered and positioned with care, but never to such a degree that the music begins to feel drained of energy or bereft of spontaneity.
Scott's poised collection extends the rich Detroit techno tradition into the present day and newly invigorates it with the sincerity of a highly personalized vision. Euphonium, The Album more than lives up to the promise of its title, given that euphony has to do with harmonious combinations of sounds that are pleasing to the ear.