Review: Shadow Pattern – Outside Inside (Inside Outside) (Radiant Clay, Jan 13)

It’s been a while since I was last a devoted field recordist, both because I now mostly prefer to just appreciate sounds in the moment and because there are just so many other people much better at it than me. Outside Inside (Inside Outside) is a beautiful reminder of that, a slipshod but nonetheless fluid audio journey that somehow manages to mean just as much to its listeners as it seemingly did to its capturer. I believe this is the first proper full-length from Shadow Pattern, one of the more abstract projects of Nathan Ivanco’s that has surfaced on various Hamilton Tapes releases, Various soundwalks, actions, improvisations, and some less intentional-sounding bits recorded over the course of two years are spliced together into a muffled mélange that’s both captivatingly narrative and comfortingly trivial, birds and voice and bells and violin and all of the ephemera in the space between. The artfully careless blend of observance and performance call to mind other favorite artists doing similar work—Max Nordile Hair Clinic, Ruda Vera, Staubitz and Waterhouse—but the organic scrapbook synthesis sets Shadow Pattern apart, cellotaping otherwise disparate clippings to the level playing field of magnetic tape. It’s only January, but it’s hard to say if the rest of the year will offer up anything as gorgeous as the middle section of the B side of this LP. Pure magic.