Brand new material from Warp electronica veterans Plaid. As ever, they have a patient, subtle approach to sound, much more focused on weaving fine textures then on big obvious ‘moments’. That said, there is some lively beat activity here and no mistake. The Digging Remedy is out on Warp Records.
CD £9.99 WARPCD277
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Vinyl Double LP £17.99 WARPLP277
2LP on Warp in die-cut sleeve.
Plaid. The one electronic producer whose name I will not say out loud, cos I refuse to give Ian the smug satisfaction of knowing the correct pronunciation all along. That smug bastard.
The first track of this takes a totally different turn than most of the Plaid that I’ve heard. It sounds sort of like a moody, serious modern take on a John Carpenter track, like the Ghost Box bunch have been doing, like The Advisory Circle or Pye Corner Audio. A weird choice for a first track, but by the second we’re back in normal Plaid business with a glitchy number like those from back in the '90s glory days. ‘CLOCK’ is the ‘Eyen’ of this album, starting with a time-warping trancey synth like the first sound heard on that Lopatin & Hecker album, but becoming nothing trancey at all, instead keeping things chill with crisp, minimal beats and a zoned-in use of melody that’s awe inspiring but with an edge of paranoia. Cracking. It edges on hip-hop production, but that’s more fully explored on the following few tracks, with mixed results. Things just sort of come to a head on CLOCK then putter out and lose some energy. The Boards of Canada-ish chords on ‘Melifer’ are nice, but everything sounds like BoC these days, just ask Phil.
It’s definitely Plaid dialed down a bit, which is much more pleasing to hear than the madness that has consumed other '90s survivors such as Autechre these days. Difficult is one word for them. This retains their balance of beauty and sad/dark undertones as well as their refined beat production which is all I’ve ever wanted from them anyway. They even delve into restrained dubstep on ‘Yu Mountain’, complete with glassy '80s xylophonic synth. Well then.
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