pleqq - Electronica for Human Bots
pleqq is the brain-robot of Dan T., born in Argentina, growing up with lots of plugs and recorders outside New York. Now in Los Angeles, he produces albums, so it's like going to the source when you're needing an all-you-can-eat electronica spread. The new album is blatantly called Psychoanarchitecture and for 9 tracks it takes you on a journey that's only begun to lose you. To make you fall out of the car.
"T.M.B." is perhaps the most memorable mix on the CD, grabbing its name from an electronic chant that pops up sometimes (and really the closet thing to a lyric you'll find here) during the rapid beat and multi-layered spritz. You might expect this sound if you'd ask Frank Zappa to score a new adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (not the musical version) for Broadway in 1984. There's a pristine tingle that jolts around the stereo system, providing a more tuneful herald of Christmases yet to come.
While "Chrome Cake" may not set the lips to whistling like the preceding energy, it is certainly hungry sex for robots seeking the musical score for an afternoon of thrill- sporting. Lavish with its electronica dance particles, this cake is layered for optimum value, spurting elements of rock disco and sparkling dance Sprite ("obey your thirst" for audio action). The most impressive element isn't the beat you hear, but that music like this can exist at all between the ears.
"Ixchel" would make great waiting room music for a Terry Gilliam film - think lots of slow movement, without resorting to new age. The aptly named "Travelog" could bounce its beat through an extended scene in Robots (why does Pleqq keep making me think cinematically?), as if Pong had become a tennis game in the 22nd century.
And the radio-play-length "Squid Pulp" could easily score an extra on one of the 10 Matrix DVDs out there, as it thrusts a 4th dimension element of stereo for nearly 4 minutes of heart attack, sacrificing melodic interface for in your face twirl, a dynamic that reminds one of Trent Reznor and Bowie without the vocals clogging up the action. Definitely one of the best tracks to tune in to first if motion is your mistress.
Psychoanarchitecture is a one of a kind, true, in a world boasting of such individuality. But it's Dan?s bi-hemisphere background that makes his dance unusual: "As a kid in Argentina, my first instrument was a drum and eventually I started playing guitar, piano and violin. After moving to the US, I discovered electronic devices, tape recorders, synthesizer space music, 80s techno-pop and progressive rock, and formed several synthesizer and progressive rock bands."
He arrived in the US when he was 12, but grew up with Argentinean pop and Brazilian jazz, plus the classical influences of Philip Glass and J.S. Bach, and the electrified sort: Jean Michele Jarre, Kraftwerk, Paul VanDyke, Orbital and many others.
"Computer Music was always my focus," says D. "The computer became my instrument especially after all the notation I did while composing in school. I take care to record tracks through classic tube gear, and prefer analog synthesizer equipment over the software and 'virtual' analog models today. I use the new stuff but I'm slowly returning to the classic gear. I have a few choice synthesizers."
He calls his compositional style "melodic, electronic pointillism. The musical concept of pointillism creates a hocketting effect between voices. This enables building up and tearing down of one, two, three and sometimes more melodies. The rhythmic placement of the notes is such that they hardly ever occur at the same time, creating a fluid rhythmic, and melodic syncopated flow. Interwoven melodies, if you will." No wonder the CD took 2 years to bake. Psychoanarchitecture is truly the birth of the artist pleqq.
Dan?s vision is to create true musical compositions, close to 'traditional' electronic music, and at the same time, be commercially viable. With an internet business model, you can find pleqq tracks available for download at therecordpool.com, a subscription source of tracks for DJ?s to do pleqq remixes, as well as Peer-to-Peer sites.
pleqq was featured on bearshare.com and you can find the tracks on most strategic peer-to-peer sites. T.M.B., the radio edit version, as well as Squid Pulp, are free for the first 10,000 downloads. Weed, another peer-to-peer, should have pleqq music in place soon as will iTunes. The tracks are routinely featured on garageband.com and pleqq songs will be on an Oasis CD manufacturer sampler to be aired on an indie-artist XM Radio show.
Building into such mainstream engines will be easy for pleqq. As Dan admits, "My musical concept is about cross-over instrumental, melodic electronica that sticks in your head. I intentionally write in a loose song form with verses and choruses etc. Admittedly, I'm a product of electronic music but I feel that current dance music is too repetitive and lacks a focused theme. It makes for great functional and rhythmic music but I can't remember a single musicality. I'm all for repetitive, minimalist, visceral rhythmic chaos, but what about the music? Not only musically, but such a texture rich style should not be plain.
"True producers craft and tweak textures as part of the compositional process, like electronic music pioneer Stockhausen and others. I feel today there are more groove than composition. Manipulating texture and having a memorable thematic concept I think, is an essential combination."
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