ALBUM WARP RELEASE: NOVEMBER
4, 2003 REVIEW: NOVEMBER 5, 2003
members of Plaid, Ed Handley and Andy Turner still operate in the same
timeless, autonomous zone of electronica they have been inhabitating since
they left Black Dog Productions. Their music appears not to have been
exposed to the trends in contemporary music, remaining a listener friendly,
pleasant version of Warp bands with more chewing resistance.
Breaking away from the melancholic and heartrending tradition of the previous
album "Double Figure", "Spokes" is a restless piece
of work, starting somberly with the mournful crooning of Luca Santucci.
Soon however, this atmosphere gets hacked to pieces by impatient beats
speeding away toward an anxious melody hovering nearby. These two elements,
quiet afterthought and brisk action, are interspersed through the album
to a disparate effect. The trademark ringing, tingling, wondrous synthesizer
sounds of Plaid have the rare ability to conjure up pictures in my mind
- castles of ice, huge underground caves, that sort of thing - but unlike
"Double Figure", "Spokes" lacks the concentration
to really pull off the trick. The album works wonderfully as background
music, but I have learned to expect more from Plaid.