Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Dance music is so much in the ear of the beholder; one artist's genius to some, to the rest wallpaper. This subjectivity tends to have an effect on some producers, persuading them to try too hard in the hope of being different enough to be noticed. To the wise, this is precisely not the way to go about things, knowing that all good grooves come from having the time and space to develop properly. This laissez-faire attitude has been Canadian Project Pablo aka Patrick Holland's MO over a string of outings for labels such as Clone's Royal Oak imprint, Spring Theory, Lone's Magicwire and, most recently, his 'Hope You're Well' EP on Ninja Tune's Technicolour imprint.
On 'There's Always More At The Store' we get more of this waxy, trademark ambience - part sunny afternoon at the beach, part after dark in a pretence-free club - but here he keeps it "More minimal than usual... in a relative sense", letting the direction set itself. This opens up a raft of possibilities, most notably on the icy, piano-led 'Last Day' and the eight minute closer 'I Heard You Breathing', the latter playfully straddling the abyss which lurks between glossy chillwave and itchy bedroom techno.
The flips here aren't radical. At first 'Napoletana' - "a rough and ready duet between a MFB 522 drum machine and Juno 106" - bathes in the soft light and locked in freestyle which Holland seems to conjure up with minimal effort. On 'Remind Me Tomorrow', the tempo remains firmly deep, the bass gently stirring, whilst completing the quintet of tracks 'Less And Less' is a slug of understated IDM that uses the sort of vintage Detroitist template favoured by mostly by those who can get away with it.
Never one for extremes and oozing confidence from every beat, 'There's More At the Store' finds Patrick Holland's alter ego stirring rather than shaking you. May he never overcompensate.