Plaitum: Constraint

review plaitum x1 cong

Plaitum do one thing. They do it really well but it’s their one trick: if you’re in the mood for cavernous, grandiose electronic pop it’s really good. If you’re not, it’s a band doing the same thing for 40 minutes. As a debut album, it’s pretty impressive, though.

The Press release talks about more modern bands such as Crystal Castles and Chvrches, but Plaitum are more immediately likable, having a warmer, fuller and rounded sound than either. (Wikipedia reports they’re on Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone label and his writing/production credits include not only Crystal Castles but Florence and the Machine and Bloc Party, and you could find the sound of those last two bands here if you listened hard enough). Although it was mostly done on laptops, it’s got the feel of the seventies about it, when real people played real instruments, or at least real synths: at its most seventies it sounds a little Pink Floyd in (a few, don’t get too excited) places, elsewhere it’s a mix of Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat, though it’s darker than Messrs Tenant and Lowe, and it’s singer Abi Dersiley’s vocals that sometimes reminded us of Jimmy Somerville, not the actual music.

A blog they wrote for NME reports them using a WEM Stereomaster, a 70s bit of kit originally designed to mix live shows but used here to give “fizz”, “pop” or “bang” they say: we Googled this and it looked more like a WEM Reverbmaster but still, it certainly gives this a warmth that some electronic music lacks.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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