Colonial Patterns is the full-length debut from Kansa City producer Brian Leeds under the alias Huerco S., following EP releases on Future Times (this year) and cassette label Opal Tapes (last). It's a temptation to approach it by attempting to map roughly where his output lies alongside a selection of some on-point strands of underground house and techno of the last year or so: from the outsider house and scratchy lo-fi techno put out on New York's L.I.E.S, to the abstract and experimental strains furrowed by Leeds' fellow artists on Opal Tapes; the earthy percussive sounds of Theo Parrish also apparent more recently in the idiosyncratic productions of Gerry Read, to the ambitious narrative of LPs on the Werk Discs label by Actress and Lukid. The sound of Huerco S. shares some element with each one of those, mixed with a tendency to the ambient.

But that might be to cloud a fascinating new thing with needless comparisons. By itself it's an immersive, intriguing listen, full of faceless shifting textures that expand and contract across its 58 minutes. On 'Quivira', the distant thump of an industrial kick drum threatens to propel the song with Shed-like velocity, but Leeds shows a masterly knack at maintaining tension by just keeping it on a leash. 'Ragtime (USA)' is a highlight, one of the few even vaguely danceable tracks, its squelchy rhythmic shuffle running in counter to the stretched out pattern of tracks like 'Fortification III' and 'Canticoy'.

The album was made with just some cheap software, keyboards and cassette tapes; the hiss and crackle of that equipment giving it the sense of being a restless, breathing entity.

Leeds clearly knows dance music, but intuitively, having spent his formative years playing in punk bands rather than spending time in clubs, picking up what knowledge he could across the internet. As such, he's got the gift of an outsider's approach, and the record's trick is to take the history of this type of music as it evolved in dark city clubs, and displace that sound out onto and across his own wide, sparse, desolate landscape. By this trick he builds up a sound that is uniquely a product of his own environment and perspective.

Still, Colonial Patterns somehow runs out of momentum as it moves to its conclusion. After countless listens it remains an immersive experience, with an arresting sense of tension at its beginning and some incredible textures. But there's no moment where some unifying strand ties it all together into some greater whole or a point at which a light shines through the fog, although the shimmering pipes of final track 'Angel (Phase)' recall the end of a night bleeding into the early morning and awakening to a new, uncertain future.

It's eerie without being really cinematic, and never seems to properly unravel from its own obscurity. It remains a quality album, though, and sometimes it's more fun to not have all the answers. The best never give all of themselves away at once.