Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Markus Schmickler's Cologne based Pluramon project returns with a fourth album, and it's without doubt Pluramon’s most accessible work to date, complete with fine additional contributions from such names as Kevin Drumm, Felix Kubin and Keith Rowe. Featuring the voice of Julee Cruise of "Twin Peaks" fame, the songs on "Dreams Top Rock" revel in a powerful, almost melodramatic wall of sound: touching not only on the current wave of interest in classic shoegazing material, yet advancing the brief still further, with Ms Cruise's intense involvement with the songs. "004" opens-up with a simultaneous blend of melodic, breathy charming vocal and guitar abrasion; but its a charming assault, restorative not corrosive. "Noise academy" and "PS" both introduce a delirious chording, the effect is of loud improv, but with strong guiding principles, guitars and vocal to the fore. "Flagolea" introduces stand up bass and Kevin Drumm's inspirational guitar, for a bluesy, after hours, slow motion number, "Difference Machine" capitalises on this elegant disparity, between the spoken words of Julee and Drumm's impassioned slide, while "Log" ends proceedings on a suitably giant guitar wave. After their highly acclaimed last album "Bit Sand Riders" on Mille Plateaux that featured remixes from Mogwai, Atom Heart, Lee Ronaldo, High Llamas, snd and Matmos amongst others, Marcus Schmickler, is well known in many contexts: electronic music, techno, improv or even classical, and needs no further introduction, his presence is felt almost everywhere on this broad and accomplished set. The surprising thing about this record is how it grows from an initial impression of a straight guitar record, to something altogether more ambitious indeed, and for this reason alone it comes highly recommended.

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