Lisbon-based artist Life Patterns’ fifth release entitled Show Me the Way to Go Home is one of those albums that seems to take simplicity to a true art form. Pings, sparse beats, repeated and slowing evolving melodies, plus vocals sampling all combine in an intriguing way that makes for an enjoyable and fascinating listen.
Opening up with “Faraway, A Hum,” the scene is set with a repeated melody that slowly changes in timbre and texture while standing mostly on its own with minimal accompaniment. The next track introduces us to a much more mellow atmosphere of extremely soft pads and textures with a spoken world element sampled from what I think is a Korean television show, though I am not familiar enough to recognize the exact language. This is possibly one of my favorite moments of the album as it seems to stand somewhat on its own among the other tracks.
The remainder of the album follows the same approach as the opening track although with a fair amount of variation. With “Ascendant” we get our first introduction to drums on the album, utilizing a simple but fairly effective snare drum to provide a sense of grounding in some kind of rhythm. This continues, although a bit more effectively, with “Holocene” in which we hear an almost dance-like vibe to the overall rhythm.
Show Me the Way to Go Home is a fine example of melodic experimentation throughout its runtime. Life Patterns plays on several different motifs that coordinate together quite well and shows depth and range. The only thing that could be holding this album back is a missing layer of polish as the tracks feel a bit unbalanced and slightly rough at times. Nonetheless, I hope to hear more from this artist.