Anthony Pateras / Erkki Veltheim – The Slow Creep Of Convenience

Posted: 14 June 2017 in Albums
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Immediata – IMM010 – 3rd July 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

One track spanning fifty minutes. It’s one of those compositions which lacks explicit firm, and creeps and crawls and spreads itself like a low fog that drifts under doors and through cracks in windows. Much of The Slow Creep Of Convenience is quiet, to the point of near inaudibility. It’s most definitely background music, and ambient in the purest sense, in that it affects the mood subliminally, infiltrating the psyche almost completely imperceptibly. It is, as the title suggests, a slow creep, an album which slowly, invisibly reaches in and subtly massages the edges of the mental state, rather than affecting an overt and direct transformation.

It’s almost exactly a year since Anthony Pateras released to very different albums simultaneously, and the style of The Slow Creep Of Convenience is very different from either of those, revealing an artist capable of significant creative diversity. The Moment In and Of Itself and The Long Exhale, while contesting and in some respects complimentary, were both overtly experimental. The Slow Creep Of Convenience is infinitely more restrained, focused. It’s very much a minimalist work.

We’ve covered the slow creep, but what about the convenience? Reading this as social commentary, and perhaps as a quieter parallel to Arsenal’s Factory Smog is a Sign of Progress, The Slow Creep Of Convenience stands as a document referencing the less positive aspects of the endless tide of progress and development. Just as industrialisation heralded the onset of the modern age and a new mode of existence, which brought with it infinite benefits but also new and unprecedented problems, so the shift toward convenience, toward tertiary industry, the advent of leisure industries, heralded the arrival of the age of stress, anxiety and dysfunction. We now live in a culture of endless immediacy, centred around instant online transaction and interaction, around immediate dispatch. Amazon Prime is nothing to on-line banking and Hungry House. Everything I available immediately, at the click of a button. Smartphones may have only come to the market in 2008 – less than a decade ago – but the revolution has already happened and we’ve all been utterly engulfed by the pace of development. So just how slow has his creep been in real terms?

In some respects, it doesn’t matter: our perception of time has changed. Time is accelerating, and in the age of convenience, it’s easier than ever to evaporate time. But who noticed?

The undulating, intertwining drones and hovering, jangling, multitonal hums with the texture of dragonfly wings which forge extended passages of this multi-faceted work intimate a nagging unease, the underlying discomfort of anxiety. It’s more than difficult to pinpoint, of course: it’s simply there in the background, yet impossible to ignore.

 

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