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New Release: Upper Regions – Ancestral Pattern

Cover album from Upper Regions - Ancestral Pattern EP on Woodwork Records

I met Jim Roditis aka Upper Regions for the first time a couple of years ago. He was about to play a set at the Pour Boy Ottawa. Blame it on the brief intro that people get at these parties, but I did not know the elaborate producer he is. 

Anyways, when he began playing, the mix had just the right amount of melancholy, profound darkness and focus, that I could not help but dance to it and fall in love with it. So, naive I was, went up to and asked him if he played any tracks from my favourite big labels in Berlin and Antwerp. 

It was then that I knew, the mesmerizing sounds were coming from the Canadian producer himself.

With his second 2020 album under Woodwork Recordings, Ancestral Pattern, coming out a few months after his Sky System recently, he can be considered one of those producers that have this strange year on their side. And here is my take on this great work of art.

The title track on Ancestral Pattern comes first with Upper Region’s intro style; a mysteriously nervous and fluid dive of sparse mid tones into a pool of heavy and structured beats. The drop evolves in rusted metallic drums, perhaps the lowest sounding drums in the entire album. 

With enclosed chimes and versatile hats that move in and out throughout the track, the music is layered with patterned synth, signalling a repetitive chord progression with varying clarity. In my head, this is an introduction to the entirety of a creation, the living character inside the Ancestral Pattern comes alive here to – despite the dripping soft events of melodic background – run on an eroded pathway.

Nitrophorin comes next, with a screaming analogue synth that wakes your ears up for a classic techno shaped through a march of drums, tight on the kicks and ornamented with destruction effects all over the track. The sound is an intact track for a search game, one that is going to, as we will see in the next tracks, suspend Ancestral Pattern in a chaotic “now”. 

The World Fell Away, a pause in the midst of we-know-it’s-gonna-get-crazier environment of the album, sounds like a silent ode to the aged and forsaken scenery that lived in the first half of the album; here, with sparse Dubstep like drum beats, the character of the album arrives at the gates between two worlds. Imagine a “blue or red pill” right of passage, somewhere in the middle of a divided world, the gates are smoothly opening, creating an inviting, yet horrific welcome. 

Panic 2020 leaves almost no doubts that it is composed for throwing the album into a reality we now are all familiar with a darkened world, glorified with fake voodoo and promised generic dreams, the teleport, the panic, the vomit. The robotic melody in the background, complemented with fast 1/16 snares and hats, as classic of a techno as it is, carries a terrifying imagery; like a movie scene where the only survivor has escaped and is chased by whatever/whoever that wants to take her life. As the track plays, I envision this character running through the swamps of an unknown land, filled with vanishing and disappointing resources. 

In Shut Your Eyes we finally find some solace in the midst of the craze. The vocal beginning woven into an instrumental extended chord are met with Roland’s pure acid melts, taking away, momentarily, the heaviness of what was and what is to come. Still on the alarming side, the galloping kicks with glued snares have a light feeling to them that move us quickly through tabs of acid and cubic ornaments, vocal patterns and their mirrored effects. 

Elastic Solid, the last track of the Ancestral Pattern, contrarian in name, continues the alarming nature of the album, and is decorated with stretched synth riffs and modified brass lines form old school techno. The closing is more like a geometrical giant bordering monument, one similar to the album cover. Listening to it feels like flying out of the album’s space from above, with a drone’s bird eye view, only to appreciate the gigantic and inorganic structure we just visited.

Once you get back from the trip of Ancestral Pattern by Upper Regions, you can get the album  or online stream it in MP3, FLAC and WAV format on Woodwork Recordings Bandcamp. Two of the tracks Nitrophorin and Elastic Solid have trippy videos on the online streaming on Bandcamp too, which goes without saying, are super synced with the feeling of the tracks.  

Format: Digital, Streaming
Label: Woodwork Recordings
Catalogue: WOOD054
Country: Canada
Release date: August 26, 2020
Genre: Techno


  1. Ancestral Pattern 06:39   
  2. Nitrophorin 06:05 
  3. The World Fell Away 06:00   
  4. Panic 2020 06:28   
  5. Shut Your Eyes 06:30
  6. Elastic Solid 06:45

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Upper Regions is a Toronto producer and live PA creator. His productions range from Techno, Deep House, Ambient and Experimental. He have released albums on Low Noise Productions, Woodwork and many other labels.

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Woodwork Recordings emerged in the late 1990s, releasing early incarnations of Tech House on vinyl EPs with full-length live mixes on cassette.

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