By Ruby Woodruff
VANCOUVER — A combination of bed bugs, mould and being friendless in a new city helped fuel Project Pablo’s debut LP, I Want to Believe.
The Vancouver producer, Patrick Holland (a.k.a. Project Pablo) and his roommate Devon White relocated to Montreal at the end of the summer. “We were struggling when we first moved…we didn’t know many people either so I just sat in my room all day making music.”
Eventually he got in touch with a local distributor (Summer Cool) and label (Banko Gotiti). Through them he met NONI WO member, Jeremy Dabrowski who offered to play bass on a couple of tunes. From there Holland says, “things kinda got funky.” At the time he was buying older disco records and listening to artists such as Sade, Steely Dan and Chaka Khan. This influenced him to create an album that balanced the “cheesiness with serious ideas.” He also wanted to include dance elements in his tracks without making it too electronic. His goal was to make computer music but have it sound “as though it were made by a band.”
Despite the nonchalance Holland uses when talking about the inspiration behind his new album, when you hear it you can tell he wasn’t messing around. Each song is layered with a variety of instruments, and chill yet upbeat tempos. The ’70s influence is evident throughout but it is effortlessly intertwined with the more modern house beats.
On side one (Whose Side?) tracks such as “Follow it up” and “Movin’ Out” reveal the “groovier” aspects of the album. While side two (What Side?) offers songs like “The Feeling” which is slightly faster paced and not so “easy-breezy.” Every track is significantly different than the one before it, but they all blend together seamlessly.
I Want to Believe is being released by 1080p, a tape label from Vancouver. Holland took this into consideration saying he usually listens to cassettes when driving or making food. Therefore, he wanted to create an album that people could use as background music to listen to while doing the same.
Project Pablo isn’t Holland’s only persona. In the past he used the pseudonym 8prn but changed it up when he started making a different type of music. However, he reveals that he will be taking the name 8prn “out of retirement” and releasing some tracks in the future.
Besides producing his own music, Holland and White co-run the label “ASL Singles Club.” They’re aiming to represent artists who are more “raw and weird.” Recently they picked up a guy from Brooklyn who goes by the name “Infamous Boogieman” and will be releasing something from him in March.
Though Holland is excited about his first full-length album, he doesn’t have any plans to tour once it’s released. He’s going to continue living in Montreal throughout the year, working on various music projects.
I Want to Believe is all too easy to get down with. If there’s any doubts about Holland’s talents as a producer, his debut album will put an end to those and make you believe.
Project Pablo’s I Want to Believe will be released February 24th (digitally and on cassette).BC, British Columbia, I Want To Believe, Project Pablo