- For most of his musical career, Patrick Holland has been a talented follower. First, as 8prn, he synthesized various strains of bass music from his hometown of Vancouver into something colourful and capable. Then he became Project Pablo and dipped his toes into house music, first with the easygoing, Chicago-style stuff and then with the city's emerging house sound (as pushed by the likes of Pender Street Steppers and Local Artist). Each new EP has built on the last, and sure enough, his latest is the clearest showcase of his talents yet. Arriving on his new label, Sounds Of Beaubien Ouest (named for the street where he now lives in Montréal), Beaubien Dream could very well be Holland's breakout record.
These tracks aren't dealing with anything new. Fans of last year's I Want To Believe won't be surprised or disappointed. As always, Holland's basslines are head-turning, and they sound better than ever here, like the big, buoyant one that drives "Closer." With its crisp drums, warm keys and synths that sound like guitars, the track could be a Mood Hut band playing live at a BBQ. Good luck trying to get that spritely topline out of your head.
Holland's sound still owes a lot to his hometown, but he's found new ways to own it. The glassy adult contemporary textures on "Royal Plus" are all his own. Even the label's name seems like an attempt to assert a new place and time for Project Pablo. It can't be a coincidence that this record lands in June, just as Montreal fully breaks out of its harsh winter. "Closer" and "Royal Plus" feel like sunlight taking over, while the plaintive title track, with its absent-minded guitar licks (courtesy of Noni Wo's Rory Seydel), is a jam for an overheated afternoon. It's the sound of Holland setting himself apart, moving from Vancouver's beaches and rainforests to Montréal's lush shadow of Mont Royal and the vibrant patios of Little Italy.
B1 Royal Plus
B2 Beaubien Dream