ALBUM SLOWBALL RELEASE: JUNE 16, 1999 REVIEW: JULY 30, 1999
Pluxus comes at just the right time. Techno is kind of boring at the moment,
and in it's place, a wave of German and American arty electronica has flooded
us. It was exciting at first, all these modern day artists offering tribute
to ancient krautrockers like Can and Faust. Then it became a scene and
people everywhere started playing improvisational instrumental music with
analogue synthesizers and guitars. Very intellectual, sometimes inventive
and spontaneous - and often pretentious and dull. As with techno, the
musicians eventually started experimenting for experimentalism's own sake,
disregarding the accessibility of the music.
Swedish Pluxus is hardly intellectual, and never dull. Somehow they have managed to
retain a kind of playground mentality in the studio. The music, created mainly
on synthesizers and drum machines is funny and experimental in a unique way.
It sounds like a child pushing different buttons just to see what will
happen, naively exploring the world of sounds. I'm reminded of the
soundtracks of old C-64 computer games, of Kraftwerk and of the only other
really playful electronica band I know, Mouse on Mars. Strange little
melodies emerge, evolve and mutate around steady drumbeats in a fascinating
way, leaving you with the feeling that anything can happen.
Instrumental music is seldom as accessible or straightforward as this.
Simplicity can be a virtue, and Pluxus are as virtuous as they come.