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Pattern is Movement: I Just Like the Sound of Your Beats

Posted by Goran / September 13, 2008


After a brief stint with Montreal’s own Stills at the outdoor Concordia Frosh concert, I found it hard to jet before scoping out MC Talib, whose lyrics stick to yo rib, in order to catch up with Philly’s Pattern is Movement at the comfy Orange Couch. The CSU event on McKay was very well organized with great sound and a load of fun loving peeps. Despite my initial reluctance to leave Concordia, the Divan Orange treated me to some unexpectedly tasty sonic goodies.


An unannounced opener, Sister Suvi, rocked my socks without warning. The ‘Montoronto’ three-piece provided me with a tingly breath of fresh poppy air. Beautifully arranged three-part vocal harmonies infused the tight pop-rock rhythms with an original melodic presence. I was particularly impressed by the intensity of Madame M G, the group’s ukulele/ bass playing singstress. After a slew of posts condemning the ukulele as a plausible component of the pop-rock instrument arsenal, Sister Suvi has turned me into a believer. I’ll even go as far as calling their ukulele licks “sick”. You should all go see them.

So if Meg was less like Ringo and more like Questlove and if Jack was as much of an organ guru as he is a guitar god, you’d have a vague semblance of Pattern is Movement. The set up is something rather similar to that of Toronto’s Woodhands, but the sound is altogether different and quite inexplicable. They pay little heed to conventional rhythms and time signatures but they are tight as hell. The beats vary from jazz to hip hop to drum’n’bass to baroque, and it’s almost never a straight beat. Drummer Chris Ward takes a novel approach to his craft making his in-your-face beats a focal point of each track. He goes way beyond the typical practice of merely providing rhythmic accompaniment, and man does he beat them things hard. I was so thankful my bum was not his drums.

Over the past few years, through what seems to be a long and arduous selection process, the group has been chiseled down from a five-piece into its present two-dude format. With a sweet keyboard/organ/piano set-up, the masterful Andrew Thiboldeaux is the vocal and melodic pillar of the pattern that is movement. The two-member line-up seems to be replacing the four-piece as the new standard default pop band setting. I don’t even want to get into listing the overabundant examples of this phenomenon. I imagine that there are a lot of practical benefits to this approach; there’s less equipment to lug around while touring and you only have to argue with one person. For Chris and Andrew, it was something that just felt right. Together, they have full freedom to express their creativity, and they do so with unquestionable originality.

Poutiners! I would love to know what y'all think of the whole two-member pop group thing. Do you dig it? What's your favourite specimen?

Photos from flickr users Ed Roper and mariliscardinal



G / September 13, 2008 at 05:29 pm
Definitely WHAM!

The put the boom boom into my heart.
l-n / September 14, 2008 at 12:07 am
sister suvi wasn't unnanounced, you just didn't bother to inform yourself!!
Alex / September 14, 2008 at 11:45 am

And two-man is the new one-man band.
G / September 14, 2008 at 03:50 pm
Speaking of which...

I heard that the DJ at some fancy shmancy ball on Friday almost threw down a classic Tyler Lyme track. He had to refrain as the crappy sound system wouldn't have done it justice. That Lyme was THE one-man band before the two-man band replaced him. Some even say he was one of the best EVER...
S. / September 15, 2008 at 12:26 am
two-man pop duos make me feel woefully inadequate.
Shenna / March 6, 2013 at 02:46 am
You have to pick a style before you jump in and create your beat, you have
to think of the style in which you want your beat to sound
(For example, Rap, Pop, Rock or Rn B). You will find mixing and mastering lessons just about all over but if you would like to cut towards the chase and get the secrets the large competitors use,
you'll need "The Beat Making Secrets".
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