The album's overall mood is drowsy and tempos are suitably slow. Almost every texture is robbed of its lustre, and melodies languish in dusty, half-finished states. While so much of today's gritty beat experiments feel urban, Colonial Patterns feels rural, like a sort of corrupted pastoral. Tracks like "Anagramme Of My Love" and "Chun-Kee Player" are purely abstract constructions, but with strange grooves hidden in the clouds of crackle and hiss. "Ragtime U.S.A. (Warning)" chugs along at a quickened pace, its one-bar bassline looping into infinity. The whole thing almost takes off when the kick drops back in for the last section, but instead it drifts to a close. "Skug Commune" is similar, built on a persistent head-nodding groove that doesn't really need to go anywhere to be effective. The textural detail is immaculate: each track is exactly as washed out and strange as Leeds wants it to be. As loose as they are, they feel well-crafted and well-mixed.
As a collection of tracks made from short loops and otherworldly samples, Colonial Patterns is an easy fit for Oneohtrix Point Never's label, Software Records. Indeed, the fingerprint of Daniel Lopatin's own work is hard to miss, especially on tracks like "Quivira" or "Prinzif." There is a similarity in the mood, in the wasted, empty weirdness of the tracks. At almost an hour in length, the album does lag a bit in places, but by the time the beautiful, shining tones of "Angel Phase" have faded into the ether, all is forgiven. Colonial Patterns is not a flawless record, but it does open up a whole new world of possibilities for Leeds as a producer, and places him decisively outside any box people might wish to put him in.