In pairing words with art, the ESP Institute often does everything journalists hate. We drown the reader in hyperbole, abstractions as opposed to didactic or literal depictions, and paint the press release with superlatives that construct an existential struggle around the art and its conditions. To articulate our reasoning behind collaborating with the artist, or the synergy between their work and our catalogue, is sometimes so challenging that crossing that finish line is achingly delayed. Patrick Conway’s 2xLP 'Cellular Housekeeping', his fourth release with the label, is one of these works so monumentally exciting for us that we’ve strained over how to deliver with honor his art unto the masses. After the initial hurdle of visual representation (in this case handled with gusto by artist Hassan Rahim), how do we directly and intentionally talk about the art we deeply love, when in reality we’re largely guided by instinct? We explore many angles, often failing along the way, until finding a final click in the combination that unlocks the floodgates. With Patrick’s album, that elusive impetus revealed itself in a literary gem that both symbolized his aggressive, melancholic, romantic, and bleak overtones, as well as synchronized his work and our task with a metaphor so grand it justified putting these words to paper. In the deeply British poem of despair and hope, 'Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle', John Milton immortalized the classic idiom of the “silver lining”, and we find comfort in this transaction between struggle and what the poet considered divine intervention. Our bout of procrastination that brewed a cloud over the art may too tout a silver lining, the time that’s elapsed clearing a path for the album to exist in its rightful place, as opposed to fighting for a voice at an overcrowded table. In hindsight, this final hurdle might have only existed because without it, there is no glory, no resolution, but as all the pieces click and we collectively cross the finish line, Patrick Conway’s once captive 'Cellular Housekeeping' is now truly released.
Published: 27th October 2021