I’ve heard Pleq in many different formats. This one, “The Gravity Lens” may be one of my personal favorites from him. Usually Pleq deals with classical in a rather playful manner, oftentimes through glitching, minor effects, and so forth. On “The Gravity Lens” Pleq and Lauki create an environment which teems with life and sounds like nothing else Pleq’s done before.
Twenty minutes float by in nebulous clouds of drone. Different elements of drone can be explored, from classically based (Pleq’s forte) to near-noise assault. Some movements get a bit aggressive, surprisingly so, particularly around the halfway mark. I’ve never actually heard any Pleq-related project get this intense, but I welcome it. Perhaps it is Lauki (his partner in crime) who is responsible for this harsher sound. Even at the most intense level Pleq’s classical construction lingers underneath, giving the section a particularly powerful feel.
Classical elements do appear within the piece, over and over again. Rather than being the focus point they are merely a structure for the piece as a whole. Piano comes into view occasionally to offer some respite from the heavier sounds. I think the drones and classical structure work well together. Don’t think Stars of the Lid think more along the lines of Tim Hecker’s gauzy sounds.
“The Gravity Lens” did everything a good drone record should do: it has structure, builds, and varying levels of intensity. Pleq and Lauki create quite an experience.
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