Today’s cassette music industry is perhaps the electronic equivalent to Opera in the past. This may sound like a hyperbolas, or even outright ridiculous assertion, but bear with me. The cassette tries the patience of the listener who, particularly in modern times, is unaccustomed to spending a full hour just listening. But, in the case of the truly great electronic musicians who prefer the cassette as their media, an hour of listening can prove to be a moving, meditative and altogether worthwhile experience.
Norm Chambers, who has been prolifically releasing music under the name Panabrite for the past two years, exemplifies the kind of patient, expansive sound that seems to tap into the ancient wisdom of meditation. Panabrite’s sound takes patience both to create and to consume, as it is often repetitive, slow moving and lacking in the things that typically make music infectious (a beat, for instance). However, there is also a sense of enlightenment to the soft, warm sounds that seem to channel the beauty and awe of nature into pure sound. It is fitting that the music of Panabrite is made in Seattle, as it seems to distill the essence of the misty forests, the deep, green waters and the soft, perpetual rain that makes that city such a unique cultural gem.
Although Panabrite’s albums are originally released on cassette, you can explore (and, in most cases download) many albums at the Bandcamp page created by Chambers himself. Neptune Visions is a great place to start; experiencing the entire album through headphones is like a taking a fantasy plunge into the mysterious, octopus-inhabited waters of Puget Sound.
Article by Weston Clay