Pleq :: Sound Of Rebirth (Impulsive Art)

His stock-in-trade is a form of knowingly atmosphere-laden minimal electronica with a downtempo dynamic, but invariably this is spiked with something somehow off-kilter, malfunctioning, be it a clunk, a pop, or some other errorist artefact.

Pleq 'Sound of Rebirth'

[Purchase] Pleq has been active only since 2008, but prolific enough to have already accumulated a small pile, with releases on u-cover, Databloem, dataObscura, October Man, as well as forthcoming on Basses Frequences, to add to Sound of Rebirth, the current object of scrutiny on Greece’s Impulsive Art. Bartosz Dziadosz self-designates Pleq as “Glitch & Melancholy,” which equation, however reductive, effectively identifies – in sonic strategy and emotional effect – much of what he’s about; his stock-in-trade is a form of knowingly atmosphere-laden minimal electronica with a downtempo dynamic, but invariably this is spiked with something somehow off-kilter, malfunctioning, be it a clunk, a pop, or some other errorist artefact.

This Pole may or may not know of another proximate Pole, though certainly likes to traffic in similar percussive strategies of recycling of studio effluvia and offcuts of digital detritus. But for all his digi-fidgety clicks’n’cuttings, Pleq is clearly a Proper Musician, and this current offering is in some ways a case study in contemporary post-digital stylistics. “Black Dog (feat. hiiro-tent)” sets the tone with a sulky and sultry combo of lounge-noir piano, wisps of smoky vocal, against which woody clunks and bits of digital grit rub up nervously. Next Pleq ramps up his early patter into clatter packed into a slithery Autechresque machine-funk derivative, “Hackneyed Words.” No, young Bartosz is not the sunniest of souls, as the presence of titles like “A Very Gentle Death” will testify, and his signature sound is a largely glum downbeat affair, though undeniably enlivened with pared-back jazz-inflected tropes, queasy ambience and percussive splinters. The title track is an excellently evocative creation, ripe for plucking for a poignant film scene, plangent synth motif and sad piano, lightly stroked and stoked by cymbaline infusions and digi-fizz.

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. See, for example, how sweet and tuneful colludes with glitchy’n’scratchy  in an eerie’n’inky ambiance with crepuscular keys and haunting femme vox on “Raindrop.” Or the resonant cadences of “Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition),” which takes its unsuspecting ‘downtempo‘ tag and bypasses any headnod chillout areas to throw it into a drowning pool with a weighty ballast of sorrowful strings in Murcofian micro-mope mode. The album is given something of a sunburst finish with well-wrought remixes by Tapage, Nebulo, and especially Spyweirdos. All in all a well-tooled collection from an artist increasingly finding a voice from within the derivations and bricolage.

Sound of Rebirth is out now on Impulsive Art. [Purchase]

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