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Plaid: The Digging Remedy [Digipak] *

Track List

>Do Matter
>Bee, The
>Baby Step Giant Step
>Yu Mountain
>Reeling Spiders

Album Reviews:

Pitchfork (Website) - "Plaid have staked out a well-defined territory over two decades: They make highly listenable melodic IDM, warm and playful."

Clash (magazine) - "[T]racks like `Melifer' fuse the distinctive Plaid sound with pretty Balearic guitar melodies to keep things interesting."

Album Notes

On their 2016 full-length, The Digging Remedy, Plaid claim to have revisited their Detroit techno roots. While this might cause longtime fans to expect something similar to the duo's pre-Warp recordings, particularly the solo tracks recorded under pseudonyms including Atypic and Balil, the album isn't quite as danceable as the work they produced during the early '90s. In some ways, it's slightly darker and less playful than many Plaid albums, continuing with the cinematic flair of their previous decade's output. (The duo recorded a few soundtracks during that time, most of which were only available in Japan or digitally.) Opening track "Do Matter" trickles in with John Carpenter-esque synth melodies and creeping, suspenseful rhythms that skip a beat rather than sticking to a 4/4 pattern. At first, The Digging Remedy feels a little less polite than their prior studio album, 2014's Reachy Prints. "Dilatone"'s glitchy, shifting beats and sparse pads seem to alienate rather than welcome, but it's nevertheless one of the album's most engaging tracks. "CLOCK" is much friendlier, opening with spinning pointillist effects before launching into Plaid's familiar brand of light melodies and thumping beats. "Yu Mountain" is similarly curious and gleeful, inventively fitting loose notes into a pattern along with a sporadic bassline. Benet Walsh, who has contributed guitar to most of Plaid's proper albums, seems to play a bigger role this time around. The ambling, dub-tempo "The Bee" moves from insectoid sounds to almost Afro-pop guitar melodies to soaring waves. Other tracks are a bit gentler, with calming music box-like melodies. On "Lambswood," Walsh switches to an exotic-sounding flute, which complements eerie synth washes and the duo's typical style of circular, off-time rhythms. The album's last few tracks are some of its most delicate and relaxed, with guitars and chilled synth melodies that sound as beach-like as Plaid have ever gotten. With The Digging Remedy, Plaid remain eclectic as ever, keeping their oddness and exploratory nature intact. ~ Paul Simpson


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