8/10 Clinton Staff review, 23 September 2011
I'm a massive fan of Plaid but why do they have to be so bloody obscure - typical old school Warp artwork and titles and I can't figure out which side is side A, B or what the album titles are or even how to pronounce them. But when you put the needle on the record (yeah, maybe I should have played it on CD and it would have [hopefully] started at the beginning) the lush sound that emerges is utterly entrancing. The first track I played is just magnificent, layered harpsichord type twinkling sounds playing a melody so beautiful and complex it could have emerged from the likes of Michael Nyman, the trilling exotic sound hit the most wondrous chords in what I'd loosely term the 'chorus', it is backed by sort of vocals and beautiful strings that sit just below the mix so they intertwine wonderfully with the main melody. I am absolutely entranced by this track. Typically they follow it up not with more melody but with a slicing blast of Numanoid darkwave and some Squarepusher style acid squigglings. On the flip (remember this could be the A,B,C or D side) they re-emerge as some kind of updated Jean Michelle Jarre with a pounding track surely just waiting to appear on an advert for some kind of sports product. After another such effort we have a kind of Warp(ed) ballad that sounds like a Prefab Sprout slowed down to 16rpm propping up the bar at a jazz club. The album is a veritable smorgasbord of electronic stylings, genre hopping crazily, but every third track or so they hit the nail on the head so perfectly that every other electronic artist might as well down tools and go home for the day. There's a track on the third side I play which marries a drunken lopsided rhythm with wonderful ethnic vocals that merge brilliantly into the track. As it progresses little bits and pieces are put into the mix, eventually reaching an intoxicating electronic brew leaving you wondering why music isn't always this uplifting and life affirming.
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