Pattern Recognition, out on Artoffact Records, is the second full-length release by the Montreal-based duo known as Headscan. This album has a surprising amount of complexity, having a sound similar to bands like Front Line Assembly, Haujobb, Negative Format and perhaps even Juno Reactor.
"Terra Incognita" has a lush sound, with a somewhat middle-eastern flair; it makes the listener feel like their floating along on the wave of music. "Synchrony" follows next; a livelier track with punchier synths and beats and well balanced vocals. "Sentinel" sounds like something from the Bladerunner soundtrack (more on this later). The vocals have an ethereal quality, floating above, and weaving in and out of, the music.
"Lolife", one of the two tracks released as singles, has a similar sound as other songs on the album, but with a much darker feel, helped by the rumbling, distorted vocals. "Arrache-Moi" has a nice flow, with good use of samples and good effects on the vocals; sweeping and interesting. "Dead Silver Sky" is the other track released as a single and is a good representation of Headscan's sound; complex, yet accessible.
"Antenna Manifold" is next, with a heavier beat and excellent use of samples from Bladerunner. Sometimes bands use samples that are too long, but this one shows the perfect use of a sample, especially from such a well-known movie. This is by far my favorite track on the album; showing Headscan's ability to blend both a subdued and dancey feel at the same time.
"Carnal Knowledge" has clear, strong vocals, which is not often present on the album. This is a refreshing change and compliments the other tracks nicely. The futuristic sounding track "Slipstream Monocraft" does not disappoint, once again using Bladerunner samples.
"Sunken World" ends the album; a bleak soundscape for the listener to listen to and ponder, most suitable for what has turned out to be an album of dense, futuristic sounds. This release definitely shows that Headscan is a band to pay attention to, and when you do, they will show you their vision through sound.