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Pluxus - Solid State

Pluxus - Solid State (Kompakt)

It’s refreshing to hear albums that aren’t constructed around the timespan of a CD. Originally released in 2006 on Stockholm label Pluxemburg, Kompakt have snapped up “Solid State” for a wider distribution, and upon initial listening you can see why, as the Swedish trio have an ear for pop melodies and unusual ideas all condensed into ten 4 minute songs in just under 40 minutes. There are twists and turns, crackly bass sounds, the odd scrape of guitar strings backed by insistent sampled drums and the odd cluster of chords to provide colourful effect in songs that have the structures of pop-techno (probably why Kompakt snaffled them up) In fact, their one nod to straight up techno in “Contrax” is the weakest track on the album, not having the same sort of innovation that the rest of the album does.

Pluxus have been making music in Sweden for over a decade. At first they were much more conventional, falling into the rock idiom, but recently fell in love with technology, yet the roots of their initial approach surface time and time again. This is an album filled with ideas, not all of which come to proper realisation, but you sense that they will be in the future. Perhaps tellingly, the opening track “Transient” is the most affecting of all, containing a sublime bridge of acoustic guitar that then falls back into an elastic sounding bassline underpinning coy synth lines. “Bootstrap” fizzes with energy, whilst the hushed atmosphere of “Kinoton” and “Sansui” wouldn’t sound out of place in the Morr back catalogue and is decidedly Scandinavian in its feel, but it’s in the title track “Solid State” that their ideas come together the most - icy and plangent melancholy that betrays their origins.

It’s not a great album by any means, but there’s enough energy and ideas to suggest that Pluxus will be furthering the ideas thrown down here, and as such they are worth keeping an eye on.

Pluxus myspace

Toby Frith


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