Arborea Top 10
Mem1 Top 10

Cory Allen
Bio / Larkian / Autistes
Black Swan
James Brewster
C.H. District
Crazy Penis
Robert Crouch
Demdike Stare
Cezary Gapik
Ron Geesin
G. Night & G. Morning
Tim Hecker
Hole Punch Generation
Hopeless Local M. Band
E. De Jesus / Minus Pilots
Saito Koji
Little Fritter
Sam Moss
Dustin O'Halloran
Phillips / Hesse-Honegger
Maceo Plex
Pietro Riparbelli
Daniel Steinberg
Colin Stetson
Subtle Lip Can
Tapage & Meander
Robert Scott Thompson
Simon Whetham

Compilations / Mixes
DJ Bone
Pop Ambient 2011
Silence Was Warm Vol. 3
Superlongevity 5
v-p v-f is v-n

Benoit & Sergio
Mark Bradley
Ragle Gumm
Tevo Howard
Isnaj Dui
Clem Leek
Luv Jam
offthesky & Ten and Tracer
Sleeps In Oysters
Nobuto Suda
Totem Test
Morgan Zarate

Pleq: Sound of Rebirth
Impulsive Art

On his latest Pleq collection, Bartosz Dziadosz shows himself to have a distinctive talent for crafting a highly personalized brand of electronica that fashions textural detail and neo-classical melodic elements into atmospheric pieces that transcend generic IDM-electronica categorization. The dozen ambient mood settings and three remixes that constitute the seventy-three-minute Sound of Rebirth provide a comprehensive portrait of the Poland-based producer's style. The prototypical Pleq instrumental finds plaintive piano melodies, ride cymbal accents, and an occasional string motif swathed in a thick blanket of pops, hiss, and static, with the album's “Oyasumi Nasai” a good repesentative example. Variations on the theme include the peacefully drifting “The Ribbon” and “I Saw Some Pretty Flowers Today,” where the merest flicker of a piano melody surfaces within a crackling flow of treated cymbal accents and wavering electronic tones. A melancholy undercurrent flows through much of the material, though the mood is more hopeful than despairing—think of it as slivers of morning light seeping into dank underground spaces (“Hackneyed Words,” with its dystopic and doom-laden ambiance, an illustration). While the primary focus on Sound of Rebirth isn't rhythm, subtle hints of downtempo hip-hop rhythms do underpin “On Your Way” and “Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition),” as well as the punchy remix of the title track by Tapage (Tijs Ham).

The album's sequencing is well-considered, as Dziadosz breaks up the instrumental settings with a few vocal pieces. In “Black Dog,” the soft musings of vocalist Emi Hosokawa (aka Hiiro-tent) deepen the hypnotic atmosphere generated by enveloping piano-and-electronics textures, and the dream-like serenade “Raindrop” is similarly enhanced by the delicate mumur of Natalia Grosiak. Appearing halfway through, Pleq's remix of Magnitophono's (Eleni Adamopoulou) “The Robot Can't Swim” fits seamlessly into the album, given how naturally the song's electric piano figures and entrancing female singing complement the other vocal tracks. A slight change of pace arrives by way of Spyweirdos's album-closing remix of “Raindrop,” which re-imagines it as a noir-like lounge jazz tune featuring muted trumpet playing. While Pleq material also appears on U-Cover, Databloem, Dataobscura, and October Man Recordings, among other labels, Sound of Rebirth is as good a starting point as any for those new to Dziadosz's world.

February 2011