Project Pablo’s second full-length LP is a stripped and kicked-back house affair, expanding on the jazzy acousticity of previous work.
Montreal’s Patrick Holland aka Project Pablo, a deep house stalwart, demonstrates a growing sophistication and maturity in his sound. 2015’s ‘I Want to Believe’ made waves through its incorporation of a multitude of genres and styles under the broad umbrella of a house record, placing him front and centre of Canada’s own revival of the genre. In a departure from a well rounded and clean aesthetic, Come to Canada You Will Like It
takes on a more varied rustic, lo-fi approach.
Throughout the 10 track run, Project Pablo presents a structure that ebbs and flows in its intensity. The opening three tracks are percussive, downtempo and ambient tunes reminiscent of his fellow countryman Mort Garson’s work, specifically Plantasia
- one man’s musical odyssey to help your plants to grow. In these opening tracks, Holland
lays down the foundations of his new aesthetic, introducing an altogether more experimental sound. 'Intro' and 'No Interest' indulge in lazy breaks and kitsch, meandering synths. It’s through this we can hear the stripped back sounds and tones that gives the album it’s altogether more rough-edged feel, in line with and perhaps inspired by the domineering influences of the lo-fi house movement. Yet, it’s not, unlike a whole host of artists and releases associated with the scene, style over substance. This first little section of Come to Canada You Will Like It
stands alone as a superbly crafted foray into an area of electronic music so difficult to get right. Ambience requires a need to get individual and simplistic elements spot on, as there are few hiding places typically found within over-produced work. It’s introspective, atmospheric and therapeutic listening. Energy is built through 'Just a Thought' and 'Tunstall', as the tempo rises and elements begin to shift up gears, all conscious efforts to bring the listener towards an altogether more dynamic section of the record. Both tracks are quite similar and lack significance, feeling caught between the two major showpiece elements of the record. A touch too frenetic for where they sit in the running order, they leave the listener wanting more of what came before.
'Half Time' is a sub-minute long interlude denoting where new and old ideas truly begin to fuse, as the record introduces more familiarity to the overall sound, leading straight into 'Nanana': the best the album has to offer. A deep, head-nodding chugger at 110bpm that’s both brooding and exciting. Energy is raised once more culminating in 'To Sealeigh and Back', an upbeat tune most reminiscent of his back catalogue: frisky hats, double kicks, noodling synth work and meandering bass lines. In the context of the record as a whole and the songs it rubs against it works, nothing especially mind-blowing but a welcome addition to a varied album.
And yet, like a jet coming into land through night skies, the record is brought down once more as the journey comes to a close. Project Pablo says goodnight with a zen, emotional throbber - a four-minute party piece that brings together everything new. 'Fine Match' underlines what is great about Come to Canada
, a convergence and distillation of elements from a multitude of genres and sources of musical inspiration. It’s a jazzy, loungey, good-natured electro ballad - the best lift
music ever made.
Project Pablo’s second full-length album is a thoughtful and interesting record, yet, in similar veins to other impressive artworks, seems to walk a tight line between well-judged and overkill. There exists a playful feel throughout, bordering on the kitsch and even silly at times.
Listen to 'Come to Canada You Will Like It' by Project Pablo below.