Boomkat Product Review:
Mark Nelson harks back to the luxurious dub refractions of his earliest Pan American material on this beautiful suite of productions recorded at the turn of the century. If you know that first Pan American album you’ll already have an idea of what to expect here: deepest midnight dub of the most evocative order, a huge recommendation if you’re into anything from Rhythm & Sound to Seefeel.
That first Pan American album remains a totally singular and highly influential expression of a sound, layering jazz keys and windswept atmospheres around the most softly-piercing subs imaginable. As opposed to pretty much all the dub-adjacent electronic music of the era, there was no glitch to be found within the Pan American matrix - it was all about atmosphere and space rather than texture and process.
‘In Daylight Dub’ rounds up some of Pan American’s rarest and most elegiac turn-of-the-century dubs, originally recorded for the Vertical Form, BSI and (K-RAA-K)³ labels, and all very much falling within the aesthetic, connecting between his earlier work as part of Labradford and the velvet reverberations deployed by Burial Mix at around the same time.
The four extended cuts are just a pleasure to behold; 12 minute opener ‘Renzo’ could easily have lived on that debut album, making use of the same palette and blissed world-building for a sort of shimmering steppers delight best suited to the early hours, while ‘Esso’ amps the skank with a more pronounced rhythmic presence illuminated by sparkling, melancholy keys. On the flip, ‘Quarry A’ is more pensive, referencing Mark Clifford’s work with Seefeel and in particular that still unfathomable, GOATed remix of Cocteau Twins’ ‘Seekers Who Are Lovers’ - all scattered rimshots, Rhodes and subs, while album closer ‘Running Dog (Reborn)’ skews more overtly towards dub techno with a kind of barely-there rhythmic presence typical of the Chain Reaction era.
Over two decades might have gone by in the blink of an eye, but Nelson's emotional conductivity still resonates v deeply. In fact, it’s sent us into a bit of a Pan American wormhole. There’s just nothing quite like it.