- Patterns are ubiquitous in electronic music. It might seem unremarkable as a subject of an album—in this case, Caterina Barbieri's Patterns Of Consciousness. But the Berlin-based Italian artist's second full-length shows the value of reexamining ideas we might take for granted. In stripping down loops, a central element of electronic music, Barbieri magnifies the movement of signals from her synths, foregrounding the addition and subtraction of various pieces of a given pattern.
The A-side of the double LP features rapid-fire arpeggios that meld together to form sustained chords, a nod to Barbieri's passion for Baroque flute music. Layers upon layers of individual patterns crystallize. Soundwaves take on the timbre of string instruments, like the one at the end of the opening track, "This Causes Consciousness To Fracture."
"TCCTF" adopts the drone of the preceding track and runs with it, evolving into its uncanny twin sibling. (It's a slowed-down version of "This Causes Consciousness To Fracture," as indicated by its acronym title.) This structure repeats for the remainder of the album, creating complementary compositional pairs. Wandering arpeggios on one track become wavering drones on the other. The only exception is "Gravity That Binds," closing the album with buoyant shoegaze.
In contrast with other types of drone music, Patterns Of Consciousness can seem as brightly coloured as a National Geographic photograph. Its tracks have earworm melodies, but they serve as reminders of the power of repetition. For an album that seems so technical, Patterns Of Consciousness is remarkably approachable. It's a testament to Barbieri's ability to distill dense ideas into compellingly colourful music.
01. This Causes Consciousness To Fracture
03. Information Needed To Create An Entire Body
05. Scratches On The Readable Surface
07. Gravity That Binds