Alias & Tarsier: Plane That Draws a White Line

At 47 minutes, calling Plane That Draws A White Line an EP hardly seems reasonable, though it is dominated by remixes of Brookland/Oaklyn songs. In addition to a reprise of the impossibly dreamy “Plane That Draws a White Line” and the five interpretations, Brendon Whitney (Alias) and Rona Rapadas (Tarsier) contribute three new songs, all of which perpetuate the emotive hip-hop style of the full-length and once again spotlight Tarsier's silky vocals and Alias's crisp beatwork. In “Nocturnal Eye” and the gentle “9:24 Cigarette,” melodies follow maze-like pathways that strongly evoke the character of Björk's songwriting while “Sleepy.” plunges the listener into a captivating sea of blurry vocal stutters and driving pulsations.

In the EP's second half, Boom-Bip (Bryan Hollon) injects “Plane That Draws a White Line” with an electro-dance speedball that sets the song's heart racing, Benbecula's christ. envelops “Rising Sun” in a subdued caress, and Neotropic (Riz Maslen) alchemizes “5 Year Eve” into languorous trip-hop bliss. In addition, Anticon's Odd Nosdam (David Madson) ups the galaxial ante with a hallucinatory “Ligaya” take and Tarsier's Brooklyn production partner Healamonster (Burgess Tomlinson) gives the CD-only “Dr. C” a punchy boom-bap makeover. As expected, the versions neither supplant the originals nor better them, but the remixers' boldly contrasting treatments amount to more than credible complements.

October 2006