Featured Artist: Pictureplane
Bout zero-point-one seconds into “Goth Star” I’m all turning my shit way up to hear some synth greetings at proper volume, then, bout two seconds later I’m “holy fuck!”ing at the explosion that blasted my ears, like a levy just broke and a dam full of thunder came rolling out. Pictureplane was off to a pretty good start for me, but those first few unexpected seconds were like a brilliant opening line to a novel that bore the burden of demanding 300 pages of glorious prose behind it to prove all the author’s originality wasn’t irreversibly sucked into one black hole of a hook. (“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. Uh, the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog…”)
It didn’t take long to prove PP was well capable of Hunter Essing my whole world up. Hitting “Goth Star’s” 39 second mark popped something rad and irrational off inside of me, like I was a sixteen year old girl who just kissed a hunky dreamy model dude for the first time and went home that night, heart all aflutter, and planned the oceanside white wedding and named all of our future kids. :39’s when the vocal chops in over the top of the track, spouting off in such vivid bursts I had check to make sure I wasn’t listening to Four Tet’s “She Moves She” – the last time I remember a producer handling sliced vocals and wild volume disparities to such immediate effect. Rare as it sounds, that’s the point down to the second I decided to pick up the album, Dark Rift.
The rest of the honeymoon’s no different than what you would expect – a jittery compendium of near-retro jams which full well deserves to be chronicled in the oversensationalized language of music criticism – synths always sparkle, melodies are always glorious, and no noun escapes without three fawning adjectives draped over its back, like a mink coat. (And don’t forget the exquisite similies, ho ho!) I’m most impressed by how nonmediocre Dark Rift turned out to be – heaps of producers are capable of carving out a niche, but most find that niche filling with quicksand by the fourth or fifth song, and by then it’s too late to climb out of the sludge. Pictureplane is cogent but flexible, and the album consistently performs some downright odd feints into uncharted territories – like the time a kick-heavy house beat grinds to a halt to make room for little Animal Collectivey arpeggio trills underneath a scratchy blanket of distortion. This fine moment comes on the tra—hold on, a friend just cut me off to tell me something. He says I have to stop comparing shit to Animal Collective all the time or it cheapens the magic and delegitimizes my clout as a critical authority. Ok, fine, please accept my apology and this informative venn diagram as an absolution of my sins:
Anyway, yeah. Dark Rift is sick. You can check Pictureplane’s myspace for some more goodies, and nab the disc wherever discs are nabbable.
- Phillip Taylor-Parker