Plaid – Scintilli 2×12″ / CD – WARP

Plaid are still off in their own exquisite world.  They seem to have invented a personal language, and continue to develop its vocabulary through this latest, long-awaited full-length.  In the half-decade since their last WARP releases they have provided feature film soundtracks for Heaven’s Door and Tekkonkinkreet and this may have helped to further develop the already cinematic vision present in their earlier work.  As with the tangled origami artwork on the cover, their results are both striking on first glance and illuminating upon further investigation.

Songs like the triumphant “At Last” and Danny Elfman-esque “35 Summers” show a dream-like charm in their composition.  Elsewhere, they utilize the extended format to stretch their precise sonics and intricate rhythm programming; moments in “Talk To Us” harken to LP5-era Autechre, while the tricky time signature work in “Tender Hooks” and “Missing”, proto-dubstep of “Eye Robot” and playfully rocking shuffle of “Unbank” hint at their enduringly, endearingly adventurous approach.

Even as Plaid has been heavily imitated and inspirational to the swath of musicians and programmers left in their wake, the British duo is still singularly distinctive and original.   For the fans out there, this will also serve to tide you over until (hopefully) the eventual physical release of their score to Tekkonkinkreet.

[edit: Tekkonkinkreet did get a physical release on Japan only CD, and was just this week released internationally for download on Bleep.  Still waiting on the vinyl & international CD versions, though…]

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