This is the last known photograph of Patrick Lee. Since this picture was taken, Mr. Lee has disappeared into a basement studio from which he cranks out groovy, foot-thumping albums at a prolific rate. If you see Patrick, please tell him to keep up the good work.
Spending my days scratching my head at the video editor has given me a deep appreciation for the value of a good soundtrack. The right song laid in as a foundation can sometimes build a video edit of itself. But finding that song and making sure we have permission to use it is often the longest and most arduous part of my job. I’m very thankful for people like Patrick Lee–emerging artists who create great music and are eager to get their work out there by contributing it to what we do here at Rapid Transit.
I was introduced to Lee by “Hands In,” a driving track with a deep bass line and subtle hammer-dulcimer/piano that received pretty wide play a few years back. Although I’ve been listening to his music for a while now, I find it somewhat hard to classify. Lee floats between genres, playing with funk, electronic, jazz, and cinematic tones, often all within the span of one song. For the most part it’s instrumental work, but Lee refuses to confine himself to any one genre. Lee describes himself well in this quote from his website: “I guess I would like my work to sound like Four Tet and Pete Rock getting into a late-night jazz fight with a bag of Beastie Boys instrumentals.”
Each of Lee’s albums (produced from his home studio and under his grass roots label, Twelve Tusk Records) has a distinct vibe and personality all its own. It makes for good background listening whether at a backyard barbecue or on a drive to the river. Often, in the middle of an album, a sound will emerge that makes you put down whatever else you’re doing and pay attention. I like this about Patrick’s music, that it sometimes sneaks up on you and changes the direction you thought you were going in.
Lee was good enough to contribute three of his songs to our recent coverage of the 2010 Jerry’s Baddle Race. It was a pleasure to edit to this quality music, and we hope to bring you more of his work in future projects. Please check him out for yourself at his website, PatrickLeeMusic.com. True to form, Patrick is extremely generous with his work. He has nearly his entire catalogue of music available for free download on his website. Donations to support this talented musician are accepted and encouraged, though. Go check it out, and help us here at Rapid Transit in our continuing effort to support the musicians we collaborate with.