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Under the name Panabrite, Seattle-based electronic musician Norm Chambers made lush, smoothly rippling music from vintage analog synthesizers and drum machines. His work drew from early new age, kosmische, and library music, and it was generally bright, bubbly, and expressive, evoking the sounds of nature while touching on sci-fi themes. He was incredibly prolific, with dozens of releases to his credit, but he remained inventive and never quite repeated himself. His releases included Sub-Aquatic Meditation (2012), Pavilion (2014), and many under his own name, such as Mirage Colony (2022). Chambers began releasing Panabrite albums as limited-edition cassettes in 2010, on labels like Cylindrical Habitat Modules, Hobo Cult, and Tranquility Tapes. In 2011, his album Science of the Sea was issued by Digitalis under the pseudonym Jürgen Müller. The album was presented as a reissue of an obscure, long-lost new age album from the early '80s, and was even granted a "Best New Reissue" review from Pitchfork. Even though it was later revealed to be a new recording by Chambers, it faithfully and imaginatively captured the sound of that era, and was easily one of the label's most successful releases. Several labels began releasing Chambers' work as Panabrite on LP and CD in 2012. That year, Under the Spire reissued his earlier cassette Illumination on vinyl, while the LPs Soft Terminal and Sub-Aquatic Meditation were respectively released by Digitalis and Aguirre Records, and Australian label Preservation issued The Baroque Atrium CD. Tapes on VCO Records and Constellation Tatsu followed in 2013, and the slightly darker LP Pavilion appeared on Immune in 2014. The label also released his cassette Disintegrating Landscape in 2015. U.K. label Deep Distance issued Panabrite's LP Transfer in 2016. Chambers largely released music under his own name from then onward. Several cassettes and digital releases preceded the LPs Air Example (2019) and Facets (2020) on the Love All Day label. Spectrum Garden appeared on Soft Profile in early 2021, and Muzan Editions released Panabrite's Sub Aquatic Meditation Vol. 2. Seaside Resonance was issued by Hotham Sound, and Soft Profile released the CD Mirage Colony in early 2022. Chambers had been diagnosed with a rare form of sinus cancer in 2019, and he passed away at his home on October 30, 2022.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo
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