It's been four long years since Noah's last album, Blind Alignments, was released here on Thoughtless, and much has happened since: extensive tour dates, numerous singles and collaborations, a lingering break-up, a move across the Atlantic, 80 releases here on Pred's Thoughtless imprint, tests of new music technology, and the sudden death of his father – all this and more transpired as his latest full-length effort, Third Culture, took shape. Traversing these highs and lows, the result breaks new ground for Pred, building on the dub-inflected techno and house that fills his discography, yet reaching far beyond anything we've heard from him before.
A Bay Area native, Noah grappled with his outsider identity ever since moving to a remote island in Western Canada at age 11, where he spent his awkward teenage years as a “third culture kid”, seeking refuge in making music. Adjusting to and eventually embracing his new homeland – yet never quite shaking a certain sense of restlessness – he's lived throughout Canada, spending more than three years each in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Residing now in Berlin since 2011, the influence of his latest adopted home can perhaps be heard here in its absence more than through any overt reference point.
Earning global respect as a Live instructor, Noah's well-honed production techniques remain as attentively executed as ever with a casual intricacy woven throughout. And yet Third Culture remains anything but a cold affair, as Pred brings a human touch to the proceedings with cleverly edited vocal samples (as hinted at on his previous single, Loss for Words), and, notably, in collaborations with vocalists on nearly half the tracks that comprise the record: lead singer of Invada act The Veees, Bristol's Anne Gallien graces the opening track; Berlin neighbor and Thoughtless label mate Deepchild's inquisitive monologue drives Questions; Brooklynite Marc Deon's soulful range figures prominently on both Devil's Quadrant and Your Signal; frequent Murr collaborator, Toronto's Rosina, delivers distinctive performances on both Circles & Circles and All Alone.
There's no question that over the past four years, Pred's music has evolved as much as he himself has matured. Throughout the story Third Culture tells, Pred's rigorous attention to detail and applied ethic of metaphysical encoding hint at the merging of science and art discussed in John Brockman's influential, eponymous book. Drawing on the process philosophy championed by his late father, Third Culture seeks to put the listener in direct contact with the expansive yet ever-fleeting, onflowing moment that intertwines us all.
Label: Thoughtless Music