Pleq: The Metamorphosis

Pleq & Seque: Pocket Full of Blue

Pining for the days when clicks'n'cuts was all the rage? Look no further than The Metamorphosis by Pleq, the guise adopted by Bartosz Dziadosz of Katowice, Poland. The fifty-three-minute collection features heavily textured IDM in the style definitively documented on Mille Plateaux's 2000-2002 compilations. Machine-generated micro-noises—whirrs, ripples, smears, tears, etc.—abound in eleven meditations whose ponderous is elevated by subtle strains of melancholy that Dziadosz threads through the material (the title of “Nostalgia for the Security of Childhood” indicates as much but so too does the track's wistful piano meander). In contrast to the oft-cold temperature of the prototypical clicks'n'cuts track, Pleq's tracks are easy to warm up to, especially when melodic figures are included along with the synthetic elements. As a result, a track such as “To Be A Little Cloud” becomes both an exercise in complex sound design and songcraft. Dziadosz reshapes the IDM template into a quasi-hip-hop form for “I Think in These Terms Every Time,” and shows a knack for adding the right touch at the right moment, as the violin sweetly crying through the otherwise brooding “Don't Cry My Dear” illustrates. Chihiro warms and humanizes the material by lending her soothing voice to two tracks (“Metamorphosis Pt. 1,” “Metamorphosis Pt. 2”), and, near album's end, a Björk-like voice crawls under the covers of the twilight serenade “Maus.” Pleq's music may be densely loaded with detail but in this case intricacy doesn't mean unlistenability.

Pleq also appears on the three-inch Pocket Full of Blue along with Canadian artist Segue. It's not a collaborative effort but rather one featuring originals by two simpatico producers plus a Pleq remix of Segue's title track. First up is an entrancing ambient lullaby from Dziadosz that's aptly titled “Fragments of Memories as a Child,” the piece spotlighting his distinctive talent for merging natural and synthetic sounds. Segue's “Pocket Full Of Blue” weaves violin and softly lapping electronics into a delicate serenade that's similar in style and equal in appeal to the Pleq track, while the more aggressive “Diaphonous” flutters like a hummingbird. Not surprisingly, Pleq's remix adds textural detail in subtle manner to Segue's piece, almost as if suggesting that it would be impolite to do otherwise.

March 2010