ALBUM REVIEW: Lee Bannon - Pattern of Excel

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lee Bannon has reinvented himself with this new album. Following his last full length album   Alternate/Endings he continues his trend of moving away from his Hip Hop roots and into unchartered territory. Fred Warmsley, based in New York, has created an amazingly atmospheric album.

The man is a part of Joey Bada$$’ group Pro Era producing as few of his early hits. This is the last album that will be made under the name Lee Bannon as Fred changed his name to ¬ b saying that “the name I feel has reached its limits”.

The whole album is like the album cover, calmly swimming in an ocean, cemented by the splashing of water sound at the start of the opener “Good/Swimmer” the most intense this album gets. One thing that may confuse you coming into this album (especially because he is a part of Pro Era) is that this is not a beats album. In fact the album doesn’t really have any beats. Just vocal samples, rumbling synths, effects, electric guitars, barely any drums and an ocean of atmosphere. 

Lee builds some ambient slow building synth lines with some vocal samples to create a truly unique listening experience. The whole album is covered in a loosely thin veil of an old dusty vinyl record playing, adding to the ambient atmosphere than hovers over the whole release. 

'DAW in the Sky for Pigs' perfectly encapsulates this feeling with a piano slowly building through the song enforcing a feeling of melancholy. This is an example of why this album is so great. It evokes so many emotions and memories within the listener, and what is music for if it cannot make us feel something?

The song “inflatable” is the odd one in this album. It is so aggressive and in your face compared to the rest of the album it feels like a show of anger, an explosion of force. It is a good song, but on this album it doesn’t really fit well anywhere and it breaks the immersion right from the get go.

Lee Bannon has come out with an album that is highly atmospheric and really pulls you in. It is the type of album you should play lying down with your eyes closed, like a sort of meditation. Lee Bannon has produced a great album; it is a great progression from Alternate/Endings. The album feels like one of them old meditation cd’s my old religion teachers used to play, only much, much, much better. 

Witten by Rhys Prka

Rating: 9/10
Fav Tracks: Good / Swimmer, Artificial Stasis, 
dx2, Suffer Gene, Shallowness is the root of all evil, DAW in the Sky for Pigs
Least Fav: inflatable (only because it doesn’t fit well in the album)
Release Date: 10th July