Plant43: Grey Sky Cracks
Ai Records

Plant43's (Emile Facey) Grey Sky Cracks is the first of what purportedly will be a series of Ai EPs set for fall release; if so, expect lots of lush electronic sounds to help you make it through the winter. In the EP's four tracks, Plant43 weds the sleek futurama of classic Detroit techno to the analogue chug of early Kraftwerk (Facey's life was changed irrevocably when he heard Kraftwerk's “Tour de France' in 1984 which led to subsequent obsessions with techno, hip hop, drum'n'bass, classical, and even metal)

If Ai devotees find “Bronfraith” vaguely familiar sounding, it may be because it's a rework of Blodyn Tatws' “Bran” (featured on Ai's 2006 Split 03 EP) with Facey updating the original's ambient essence with lush technicolour that's pure Ai. Facey weaves sleek textures and clanking beats into an echo-drenched, seven-minute stream of electronic serenity. In the title track, deep strings course through a dark slab of brooding, dystopic ambiance, while robotic synth patterns align themselves to a rapidly-flowing stream of strings and beat burble in “Gas Frame Canal.” Grey Sky Cracks' pristine tracks are precision-tooled but also ooze humanity and soul—the man-machine indeed.

November 2007