"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Check Pleq

For all his digi-fidgety clicks’n’cuttings, Pleq is clearly a Proper Musician. Pleq’s effects come from felicitous juxtaposition of chilly and warm, sharp and delicate, warped and winsome, with a penchant for the addition of a peculiar or plangent ingredient. Bartosz Dziadosz, for Pleq is he, has been active only since 2008, but prolific enough to have accumulated a small pile, incl. releases on u-cover, Databloem, dataObscura, October Man, Basses Frequences, and Impulsive Art. Pleq's style is self-designated “Glitch & Melancholy,” which, however shorthand, effectively identifies - sonically and emotionally - much of what he’s about. His stock-in-trade is basically atmospheric minimal electronica, though with the addition of something somehow off-kilter, malfunctioning, be it a clunk, a pop, or some other errorist artefact.

Most recent offering, Sound of Rebirth (Impulsive Art) is in some ways a case study in contemporary post-digital stylistics. “Black Dog (feat. hiiro-tent)” sets the tone with a sulky and sultry combo of lounge-noir piano, wisps of smokey vocal, against which woody clunks and bits of digital grit rub up nervously.

PLEQ & hiiro-tent :: Black Dog (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

This Pole may or may not know of Pole, but seems to like to traffic in a similar studied junkshop strategy of recycling of studio effluvia and offcuts of digital detritus to create spidery webs of percussive matter; these feature heavily as he ramps up his early patter into clatter in the slithery Autechresque machine-funk derivative, “Hackneyed Words.”

PLEQ :: Hackneyed Words (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

No, young Bartosz is not the cheeriest of souls, as the presence of titles like “A Very Gentle Death” will testify, and his signature sound is largely a glum downbeat affair, though undeniably enlivened with pared-back jazz-inflected tropes, queasy ambience and spectral pulse. The title track is an excellently evocative creation, ripe for plucking for a poignant film scene, plangent synth motif and sad piano (D minor?), lightly stroked and stoked by cymbaline infusions and digi-fizz:

Pleq - Sound Of Rebirth from adnojse on Vimeo.

Re: previously mentioned juxtapositional sleight of hand, see how the sweet and tuneful colludes with the glitchy’n’scratchy in an eerie’n’inky ambiance with crepuscular keys (ft. haunting femme vox) on “Raindrop”:

PLEQ :: Raindrop (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

The album is given a sunburst finish with well-wrought remixes by Tapage, Nebulo, and especially Spyweirdos:

PLEQ :: Raindrop - Spyweirdos Remix (excerpt) by Impulsive Art

Before that, though, there’s the resonant cadences of “Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition),” which takes its unsuspecting ‘downtempo’ tag and bypasses any headnod chillout areas to throw it into a drowning pool with a weighty ballast of sorrowful strings in Murcofian micro-mope mode:

Pleq - Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition) from Pleq on Vimeo.

Teaser from forthcoming album, Ballet Mechanic, on Basses Frequences:

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