patten (officially spelled all lowercase) is a band. Well, more like a group. An entity? Whatever you decide to classify them as, they’re signed to Warp Records, make some of the best music I’ve ever heard, and have just released their latest album: Psi. Ever since they were signed on to Warp, patten have started including mysterious and cryptic codes on their releases. When one searches these codes into Google, the outcome is usually a hidden page on patten’s official website that has some bonus content on them. Strap yourselves in, because you’re in for a long ride.
NOTE: The initial four parts of this series of articles were made before it had clicked with me that most of the links are merely part of a larger mood board or nexus of links to things that inspire patten. As such, a lot of the text here is written in that I’m expecting it to lead up to something big, when in reality there wasn’t. With that in mind, read on and enjoy my dorky excitement.
Now, this is a badly constructed flowchart of the four codes found on patten’s Warp releases. Let’s go through each one in order and in depth, in order to explore some connections.
Code 1: HOSSEGOR ZENO JUGHEAD UMBRA (Found on EOLIAN INSTATE EP)
On the back of the limited edition picturedisk EP, tucked away in the corner was a bizarre phrase in all lower case, reading simply “hossegor zeno jughead umbra”. Throwing this into Google led one onto a secret page on patten’s website.
The first thing that will probably hit you is the shiny “Enter Protected Area” button at the top. Clicking it will produce a dialog box asking for a password. The main content on this page, at first glance at least, is an excerpt from the Jorge Luis Borges short story “The Circular Ruins“. The story, according to Wikipedia at least, deals with immortality and idealism. At the end of the page is this:
|\/| bd “n. / _,”n.___.,–x. ‘\ Y ~~ \ L 7| H l–‘~\\ (|| H l H |`’ H [ H [ ____//,]____//,]___ M I R R O R
This is actually broken ASCII art due to the formatting of the page; we’ll see it’s true form later on, but in the mean while it acts as a nice hint towards the password. Before we move onwards, let’s take some quick notes:
- Jorge Lois Borges “The Circular Ruins” text
- The URL and Title of the site: “Capitolo_XV_Capitolo_XIX___libro_di_mano_capitolo_XI___Capitolo_XVIII” and “第十九章 第十五章 手配書 第十一章 第十八章”.
- Both fragments of text above translate into the same thing: “Chapter XV Chapter XIX Hand Book Chapter XI Chapter XVIII”.
- The code itself: “Hossegor Zeno Jughead Umbra”
While they’re not exactly important they’re interesting little things which seem to bare some significance that aren’t fully apparent yet.
The next clues are a bit more obvious, depending on if one looks at the source code for the page or not.
Here’s all the ASCII art in the source code for this page. Note the Bart Simpson saying the code without spaces and also the link to the perl function “reverse”. Connect the dots and one can quite easily piece together that the “password” is just the same code word but backwards. Oh, and I guess outright seeing the code for the button helps too:
Also just underneath this, we see this little bit of ASCII art which shows the true form of the bizarre string of symbols we saw earlier.
Anyway, upon entering the right password, it sends you here: http://www.patttten.com/3-1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679.html
A rather minimalist page in comparison to the previous one, baring only a spinning 3.5″ floppy disk gif, a shortened link and a URL consisting of Pi calcuated to 100 decimal places. Once again, the source code bares fruit but it’s not as useful as before:
With nothing else left of note on this page, let’s move onto the link itself, which is actually a shortened youtube link to an unlisted video:
The video consists of a hypnotically spinning OmYang:) (somewhat of a signature patten thing as of recent) and slowed down music that sludges onward throughout the six minute length (actually the song “Gold arc” from their debut Warp album, which we’ll get onto later).
Five things of interest here; the title and the four links in the description. The title, “遅い 金 アーク” translates literally to “Slow gold arc”, so there’s nothing there, its a literal title for the video contents. The links however take you to some more interesting paths. Link 1 is a Wikipedia link to “May Day”, specifically the public holiday celebrated on May 1st. Link 2 is another Wikipedia link, this time to this photo:
This is a painting by King Rene I of Anjou, entitled “Le Livre du cœur d’amour épris” which Google has loosely translated as “The Book of heart love loving“.
Link 3 is to a page that contains one million digits of Pi, a callback to the second page which got us here in the first place. Finally, Link 4 is to a video demonstrating the McGurk effect. I can’t quite explain it in words because of how bizarre it is so, here’s an embed of that video:
So to recap on the things of interest that don’t particularly seem to go anywhere:
- Jorge Lois Borges “The Circular Ruins”
- “Chapter XV Chapter XIX Hand Book Chapter XI Chapter XVIII”
- “Hossegor Zeno Jughead Umbra”
- May Day
- The painting/title “Le Livre du cœur d’amour épris”
- The McGurk Effect
As far as I can tell, all of this effort is primarily just to tease people about the upcoming release of ESTOILE NAIANT, just with a ridiculous amount of effort put in. However, there are links into the next code with some of these notes we have and speaking of which:
Code 2: MAYLIS OPAL EMDASH (Found on ESTOILE NAIANT) [Epilepsy Warning]
ESTOILE was a bit more blatant with its code, this time laying gently on the sticker on top of the shrink wrap for the cover. Maylis sends one to a page containing a rapidly moving gif and music that has been slowed down. The gif is actually a deconstructed version of the artwork to ESTOILE, flickering through every(?) element quickly, including the patten and Warp logos. In the background, a slowed down version of the song “Aviary” from EOLIAN INSTATE plays. That’s it, pretty much. In the source code, there’s two things of interest:
“На горящем февральским утром” or “On the burning February morning“, which is the opening line to the short story “The Aleph” by Jorge Lois Borges…
…and “On Exactitude in Science” by, you guessed it, Jorge Lois Borges. To quote Wikipedia exactly, this one is “about the map-territory relation, written in the form of a literary forgery.” Also of note is the url, “Schaffhausensches”, which seems to refer to Wernigerode Armorial. I’m not sure. We at least have a couple themes here already, it seems:
- Slowed down music
- Short works by the author Jorge Lois Borges
Codes 3 & 4: PHTHALO RINGTONE PETRICHOR & RADICARIAN EXO COILS (Both from “Psi”)
It could be because it’s still a recent release or it could be because it’s something that will be unlocked later on in time. Regardless of which reason is the correct one, as it stands right now, neither of these code phrases actually do anything.
Normally when you search these codes, the only result is that of a page on patten’s site. Potentially, this is just a red herring code. Meanwhile however:
And yes, that’s all that is on this page. Yes, that is the only page you get for searching the code. The text is the same colour as the background so one has to CTRL+A in order to see it but there’s still nothing there.
Things of very vague interest so far though:
- The first code leading nowhere
- The second code leads to a patten page but has virtually no content
- The url for the second code contains 18 underscores (Yes, I’m grasping at every straw possible here)
- The source code for the second code’s page weirdly contains remnants from the website’s main page you get when you visit the site normally.
There’s totally a chance both codes will do something and reveal some fun stuff later on down the road but as it currently stands, neither of them do anything. Of course, there’s also the chance that patten is just messing with us, but I doubt that. I guess we’ll see.
patten’s “Psi” is out now in most retailers + streaming services and you should definitely go listen to it because it’s absolutely fantastic. You can purchase it here.
UPDATE 2/11/2016: RADICARIAN UDPATED SOME TIME IN LATE OCTOBER – DETAILS HERE.