Pleq + Philippe Lamy :: Sans Titre (Pocket Fields)

Choreographing ambient, noise and modern classical minimalism with a sense of tension being denied resolution, finding unwonted turns along the way.

Since 2008 Bartosz Dziadosz has built a body of work as Pleq with releases on labels like u-cover, Databloem, dataObscura, Basses Frequences, ranging across ambient, drone, downtempo, glitch and postclassical, variously configured. Fusing synthetics with violin, piano, and occasional voice, his stock-in-trade has been a form of knowingly atmosphere-laden minimal electronica, invariably spiked with something off-kilter, Sans Titre sees him collude with lesser-known French electronicist Philippe Lamy for Pocket Fields.

PjuskMarcus Fjellström and Ben Lukas Boysen (aka Hecq) offer three remixes—in a sense, a misnomer, identified as they are as the ‘starting point’—as base material for Pleq and Lamy to create their originals, which are rendered, then, ‘pre-mixes’ (cf. ‘prequel’) in that their concrete-ambient murk effectively prefigures what comes to be the eventual locus of the album’s trajectory. The pair’s original tracks are largely atonal passages of stripped-back minimalism–wilfully austere pre-aged slabs that take on a certain expressive heft when a hint of consonant cadence comes or fleeting melody traces emerge. Spoken word snatches (Sandrine Deumier on tracks 0, 3, and 7) seep through dolorous drones–an inky acousmatic soup, with lounge-noir piano rubbed up queasily with digital treatments. The effect is achieved partly through what is withheld. On “Sans Titre Quatre” shattered tones ghost over a blown-out Techno kickdrum revenant, post/pre-lude to Pjusk’s foreboding rendition. Marcus Fjellström’s working of “Sans Titre Deux” has a more otherworldly orientation, a hint of melody creeping in at last, though the veil of tear-y strings, far from figure, largely blurs into surrounding ground, by-passing melodramatic gesture to throw its sad orchestra into a drowning pool with a weighty ballast. Melody is finally given fuller voice through Ben Lukas Boysen’s sad slow piano-over-drone étude.

Early in 2011 your reviewer observed: ‘Pleq’s effects come from felicitous juxtaposition of chilly and warm, sharp and delicate, warped and winsome, with a penchant for the addition of a peculiar or plangent ingredient. …sweet and tuneful colludes with glitchy’n’scratchy in an eerie’n’inky ambiance with crepuscular keys and haunting femme vox…’ (igloomag review). Sans Titre is similarly skewed, choreographing ambient, noise and modern classical minimalism with a sense of tension being denied resolution, finding unwonted turns along the way.

Sans Titre is available on Pocket Fields.

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