Thursday, December 15, 2005
AUSTRALIA: PLUTONIC LAB - Codes Over Colours
Was there ever going to be any doubt in the quality of a new Plutonic Lab album. I mean seriously? Did I expect it to be this good, maybe, maybe not. One tends to avoid thinking about the unknown in case one might become obsessed by the fantasy & then fall into its arms only to be disappointed by the reality. No worries this time around, for this is tip top stuff. We we’re already gobsmacked with the Muph & Plutonic album, Hunger Pains earlier this year, so this is like the icing on an already scrumdiddlyumptious cake.
As with his previous 2 albums, this one is a mostly instrumental affair. Adding to his beats are the talents of keyboardist Drem & guitarist Chris Toro, filling in the gaps without being too bold. I especially love the track Storms that samples Astrid Gilberto’s vocal from her track ‘Gentle Rain’ (which was recently remixed by RJD2 for 'Verve Remixed 3'). Good to find a fan of John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing. He uses it on 2 different tracks, Immitations & on one of the vocal tracks, the tri-versed Waiting with Muph, Ivens & Pegz. British emcee Lotek manages to get a sweet little tune in the form of Echoes & runs with it perfectly. In fact I almost prefer this over his last albums contents. Not a diss, just means this tune is rather good. If he had any sense he would include it on his next album. The only other vocalist is Bondi Beach lad, Kye, who sings solemnly & sporadically over some dark cello, swirling keys & scattery drums on the absolutely exquisite Character Assassination. Bravely they have released this as the main track, with a rather smartly photographed video clip set in bushland. So props to them for not adhering to convention. Recently I saw the clip after another Melb hip hop artist had used every convention & cliche in the book, so the disparity was overwhelming & refreshing.
Shame the general audience needs to be treated like an idiot most of the time. If only they could escape from the tedium that is foisted upon them & embrace the greater world of music. Thankfully at least those who have good taste, or rather a more broad awareness, will find this album blissful from beginning to end. It’s a piece of work that is crafted, not made. Not a skip-worthy track to be found. One thing I do like is that it lacks the clutter that some kitchen sink hip hop instrumental albums can suffer from. To compensate, or should I say embellish, he does use film dialogue, a few appropriate sung vocal samples & the talents from 2 exceptional deejays, Selekt & Bones. Now if only we can get the people in that other hemisphere to also broaden their tastes.
CD & Limited Edition double vinyl. Dope artwork again from Mexi.
• Obese website
• MP3: PLUTONIC LAB - The Waiting ft. Muph, Ivens & Pegz
• MP3: PLUTONIC LAB - Immitations