electricity . childhood . farming . canada

“The Dimmed Homestead” on Wist Rec

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After a belated journey north, Depatterning returns to find the ancestral home quiet. “The Dimmed Homestead” is a 2 disc release (5″ & 3″CDr) on Wist Rec featuring geneological trails of electricity, farm liminality and Ukrainian heritage in an isolated region of central canada (lowercase).

Initial copies include a microfiche of Massey Ferguson part cataloges for reference. Things repeat into a second cycle (50-60 Hz).

Pre-order available July 13th
Ship date: July 25, 1916


A Long Spell

Doukhobor_women_winnowing_grainOur farm eduction continues! After long delays and many discarded projects, the next release by Depatterning will be available in the near future.

“The Dimmed Homestead” will continue this vital rural work.

The Mild West – Delayed Indefinitely

wist-records-iDespite the sudden and surprising announcement on April 1st of a new Depatterning release by A Closer Listen, this release will unfortunately not be available for Record Store Day or any other day for that fact.

Otherwise, work on the next Depatterning release has comenced. Its about electricity… and rail lines… and the atom… I think.

The press statement on “The Mild West” from A Closer Listen reads below:

“Only Wist Records seems to have noticed that Record Store Day 2014 falls on the day before Easter (Saturday, April 19). The Mild West will make a perfect gift for your mum after she’s made all of those delicious pies. Known for its love of history, Wist staple Depatterning has cooked up a very special release, delving deep into the heart of bizarre Americana kitsch for this nugget of Fool’s Gold.

Wyoming and Colorado ranchers in the 1950s were familiar with the sound of the jackalope, whose “lonely cry … resembled human singing and could often be heard on moonless nights”. It’s likely that the ranchers had been drinking too much (the jackalope was also said to be attracted to alcohol) and that they had been hearing their own echoes around a campfire. But when mingled with the more realistic jack rabbit and the “giant produce” postcard fad of the same era (giant oranges, giant sticks of celery), a minor artistic phenomenon was born. Yes, years before dogs were seen playing poker on velvet canvases, bored Americans were creating the 1950s equivalent of Photoshopping, cut-and-pasting images (with real scissors and paste, which was also edible) of cowboys riding giant jack rabbits. (The choice of jackalope / jack rabbit is a clear nod to Wist Records’ own jackdaw series.) The original postcards fetch a modest price on eBay, but they are rarely available, so it’s a great idea to collect a set here along with a little music. Not only does this release come with two brand new Depatterning songs, it also contains four postcard replicas, ranging from the quaint to the marginally insane. Considering the fact that the last Depatterning release (The Huddled Tone EPs) provided the score to an abandoned town (and also contained prairie-themed postcards), it’s nice to see the artist’s lighter side emerge.

As for the music, it’s like listening to a new entry in Flaming Pines’ Birds of a Feather series, with the unusual cries of the jackalope replacing those of the birds. Gary Mentanko integrates their cries to such an extent that they seem ghostly – no surprise, considering the source – planting them in a bed of field recordings (nestles, wind, spurs), sullen electronics (static, needles in grooves) and occasional dialogue samples from old western TV shows. But the highlight instrument is the detuned acoustic guitar, which sounds at times like Morricone playing underground while suffering from influenza. The title track is somewhat of a tease, ending just as the ambient backdrop seems ready to give way to a deeper groove, but “Cattle Ranch Dressing” is a classic in the making, tinged with just enough banjo and ukulele to conjure thoughts of marshmallows around the fire. It’s a shame that only a few people will hear it. We hope there’s enough to go around, but there’s no better reason to head into your local record store this April 19 ~ tell ‘em the jackalope sent you. (Richard Allen)”

Huddled Tone Eps Reissue: Available Now

Picture 16The Huddled Tone/Huddled Town EP, is now available in a deluxe 3-disc edition on Wist Rec.

Examining the depopulation of rural townships in Saskatchewan, this version will feature an additional soundtrack to the short film “The Elevator at Parkbeg”, by Elysia Bourne recorded at the same time.

Features contributions from Andrew Lee (In Media Res) and Ronan McGrath (All My Evils).


Preserves: Live Performance



A screening and live sound performance staged at the Roxy Cinema at 7PM. 320 20th St West, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Sound augmentation and synthesis by Gary Mentanko (Depatterning) with films by Clark Nikolai, Shawn Fulton, Susan Shantz, and Shona J. Dietz.


Tickets to the Sounds Like Art Festival can be purchased at:

Sound Work for Sounds Like Audio Art Fest

Despite the fact that I’ve been living in Europe for the last few years, my devout and perhaps naive interest in representing a Canadian childhood in memory seems to have paid off. A couple of months ago I was asked to re-score a series of archived films from the AKA Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, only as few hours away from where I was born. I’m also privileged to get to attend and perform my work for the Sound Like Festival this July, hosted by PAVED Arts.

Here’s a glimpse of the films I have been working with, most of them produced between the 80’s and 90’s when I spent a lot of time watching the Beachcombers on television. Apologize to the directors if I muddle up the themes and/or plot.

anhanger “Anhanger” by Clark Nikolai

A bizarre looping film in which a man is seemingly haunted by a recurring homeless man. Lots of fantastic but jarring bus sounds.





“Any Where But Here” by Shawn Fulton

A film in two parts. First we observe a middle aged man’s denile of age through his obsession with his spoiling jack-o-lantern. The second half follows a young man on the the road who encounters an interesting creature. Weird stuff.


Quiltmaker“Frances Mateychuck: Quiltmaker” by Susan Shantz

A documentary following one Ukrainian woman’s incredible collection of intricately patterned quilts. Though she humbly presents them as simple projects, she’s seems to have basically weaved the entire cosomos and geometric consciousness into dozens of cozy piles. Amazing.


Matterandspaceintime“Matter And Space In Time” by Shona J. Dietz

Another documentary, though this one allows the setting to act as the narrator as the filmmaker tries to reconcile her memories with the passing of time in her grandparent’s house. A film that has illuminated something in me.


The Sounds Like Festival takes place Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27th, 2013 in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

Old Obsessions, Still Present

screenshot_06 screenshot_08 screenshot_09 screenshot_10 screenshot_11 screenshot_14 screenshot_16 screenshot_17 screenshot_18Goodness. I found the oldest images on my computing station the other day and realize that some things will not go away.

On my mind, seemingly for more than a decade:


Negative film

Soviet Constructivism

Test Cards

Library Music

Nikola Tesla

Lev Sergeevich Termen

Ghost Box art

Grain Elevators

Power stations

The 1910’s

The 1920’s

The 1930’s

The 1940’s