BioDuring the summer of 1997, Mark Nelson started recording a full length album for Kranky at home and at Sound of Music Studios in Richmond, Virginia. Mark Nelson had been playing guitar and singing in Labradford, but wanted to explore the possibilities of sampling and computer technology as well as his interests in dub and techno. The self-titled, debut Pan American album came out on Kranky in early 1998.
Nelson continued to work on Pan American material as he worked with Labradford, learning to play pedal steel guitar, releasing singles on European labels and getting some studio time in with engineer Casey Rice. Two more albums, more singles and compilation tracks followed, along with the odd live performance. Nelson's placement behind a synthesizer and mixing desk belied the improvisational nature of the live mix. Between sternum-rattling bass rhythms and Nelson's willingness to challenge an audience of with outbursts of static, Pan American shows were more than the usual knob-twiddling and smooth noodle maps.
Since late 2002 Mark Nelson has been preparing the fourth Pan American album. Returning to the use of organic instruments and singing a few songs, Nelson has entitled the new album Quiet City.