Third of a pseudo-trilogy by British electronica duo Plaid.

  1. Eyen starts the album in a hypnotically beautiful style and is arguably the best of the CD. The strings glide smoothly past your ears as the bassline keeps time, while whistles and more standard electronic fare fill the few gaps left. This feels far less experimental (like a track from Plaid's earlier efforts in Not for Threes or Restproof Clockwork), is extremely polished and wonderfully memorable. A perfect opener to a great album.
  2. Squance is a robotic, uptempo piece that reminds me of Rob Hubbard's Amiga soundtracks. Again, the evolution and technical excellence of Plaid can be heard here, the track impresses in a way that only a few of their earlier works do. The mastery of sound plays across your perceptions as the main synth lead swaps ears, almost seeming to tease you at times. The build to the end of the track works well, with the lead synth and male shouts intertwining to produce a satisfying endgame.
  3. Bubbly Assault On Precinct Zero introduces itself amid squiggles to an impressive yet understated main tune. Again, the skill in track composition is apparent as we are eased into a slick aquatic journey that vies with Eyen for the title of best track. This track also sounds perhaps more familiar to afficiandoes of earlier plaid, with it's amusing, playful bubbles.
  4. The mellow, almost comatose Zamami is almost a let down after the brilliant first 3 tracks, yet after a couple of times it begins to show you it's true purpose as a balance to the 3 monsters that preceded it. Simple drums and a low chorus provide a tranquil background to bells and flutes that calm you and leave you feeling almost musically massaged. Surfing on Sine Waves, this isn't, although it could claim a kinship to more classical Eno-esque Ambient.
  5. Not content with leaving us to meditate, Plaid wake us up with the fast blip and bass of Silversum. Faintly disturbing distorted voices cry over an intricate composition that makes me wonder if Squarepusher had a hand in it. But again, after the great first tracks, I am not impressed as much as I could be.
  6. Ooh Be Do seems to join hands with Zamami and Silversum, or at least be a well-loved child of the two. After an opening that harks back to the tripping over, falling off feeling of Headspin from Not for Threes, mellow groans swell over a fast paced beat with another main line that impresses both at an emotional and an intellectual level.
  7. Distorted lowfi triphop beats usher in another mellow beauty, Light Rain. No rain to be heard, just a broken, chopped computer voice in the style of Boards of Canada. The almost trademark blips of Plaid work well with the mall muzak parody that builds into something more palatable, a swelling fuzzy main line that relaxes you, but still maintains interest.
  8. More distorted Hawking voices and light fast breaths punctuate the first of the mini-tracks, Tak 1. Ancient synths swell and fade over a happy yet soft mainline that speeds to the end of a perfect nugget of a track.
  9. New Family sounds like it really shouldn't have escaped from Not for Threes. The bells that marked earlier Plaid are here at the beginning, leading into a stacatto beat overlaid with a delicate light piano and squashy 70s Jarre-style synths. But just as you have gotten used to these sounds, a female voice proclaims the last minute to be a new landscape. The previous piano changes tempo and key, adds a brass sound to the mix, and the whole track fits sublimely together in a different way that always brings a smile of admiration to my face.
  10. Zala bleeps and slides like a 70s Buck Rodgers computer, complete with flashing lights. We're then shown the almost abrasive tune weaving in and out of echoing whistles. As the tune builds on it's complexity, soft orchestral swells accelerate in the background. Again, this track shows such a mastery of electronic composition that I would surely fall to my knees in worship were I to ever meet Plaid. After the soft orchestra and bells, we're taken back to the bleeps for the end of another amazing, satisfying track.
  11. Twin Home menaces at first with ominous creaks and groans, which give way to soft beats and a sparse two instrument melody filled in with with fast paced siblings of the original creaks and groans. Another intricate track to put on repeat a few times to appreciate it's real meaning and greatness.
  12. Tak 2 is another musical haiku, proving that electronica doesn't have to last forever to paint a landscape. Notes slide into each other over 8-bit blips before a far-too-soon completion.
  13. Whispered voices distort over a distant guitar and harp in Sincetta before giving way to a track that belongs on every chillout compilation. Something akin to Vangelis by the way of Turquoise Hexagon Sun. Mellow and charming yet still thoughtful, this track keeps it's full purpose cloaked behind voices that may just be in pain, but could just as easily be in ecstasy.
  14. Another short, Tak 3, pulses softly, not daring to shock you awake after the elegance of the previous track. Wind instruments hum gently at the edge of your awareness and lead you into...
  15. Porn Coconut Co., an uptempo joy. Again reminding me of the previous two albums, this tweets and flutters as it flirts with basslines and marimbas before settling with a lovely kraftwerk synth sound. 3 main melodies compete with each other in what sounds like a cacophony at first, but with repeated playing, resolve into a well-crafted tapestry.
  16. Tak 4 is another graceful track, so short but really impressive with layers of low piano, tiny dots of synth and swelling blooms of organ.
  17. Bluesy horns and low bass hearken back to Sincetta in Ti Bom. I half expect Sade to start singing over this one, it sounds like it belongs in a smoke filled jazz club. Yet the chilled, mellow drum'n'bass beat marks this as something special, a real fusion that is a joy to experience.
  18. Tak 5 certainly doesn't hang around. We're dumped straight into low bells and bass drums in something that Portishead would have been proud of. The only downside is that it is over all too soon.
  19. Manyme lives up to it's name. Multiple voices are the star here, dancing around each other and the thankfully minimalist beat. This choral end to this track finishes the album quite well, but after the previous mellow masterpieces you can almost feel let down...

As you may have guessed, I love this album. It's the perfect electronica album, possibly even surpassing Music has the right to Children...

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