Friday, April 6, 2007

Reviews:: People Press Play

I stumbled across yet another interesting release from Morr Music (which is skyrocketing up my favorite label chart). People Press Play is a new project featuring Sarah Savery, Anders Remmer, Jesper Skaaning and Thomas Knak. It’s a little misleading to talk about it, but the three guys make up Project 3 (and Remmer is the man behind one of my favorite electronica bands – Dub Tractor).

Before listening to the record, it would be easy to assume adding Savery’s breathy vocals to the mix would simply be an extension of the sounds Project 3 crafted over the last decade, but instead this electronic project is one of the most organic sounding records I’ve ever heard. The songs actually come through your headphones as a pulsing, breathing, living entity.

The grainy, earthy textures are minimal, but not empty. As each song starts, textures are slowly unfolded. It’s like watching time lapse photos of a blooming flower. Each pedal needs space to grow and somehow (even from the beginning moments) that spatial relationship is already known. You can’t help but appreciate how perfectly the songs are programmed. No note ever forces its way into another line. The four members of this band act like a seasoned jazz quartet, knowing when to step in and when to retreat, and using tight structure to create a seamless, free-flowing record full of understated dub backgrounds, computer blips and analog instruments.

It’s probably easier to dissect a song than talk about the complete record. As each part on These Days is added, none of the existing sounds are hidden or muffled. Each line is simple and crisp, but the total sound intricately complex and melodic. Sarah’s voice plays alongside the programming, instead of trying to power through it. Much like the solo efforts of the programmers, People Press Play rewards the interested listener. If you want to throw on a CD and hear obvious changes and tempo variations, you probably won’t understand the beauty of a lot of these arrangements. However, if you have the patience, the songs expose hidden wrinkles with every listen.

The computer flashes on Studio mesh with the xylophone-esque sounds and although it uses similar elements to those found on songs like Frail, the end results are completely different. Instead of the spacey dub vibe you get from Studio, Frail mixes the vocals with a more rigid beat in a Quaaluded version of an assembly line Psapp-styled effort.

The highlight of the record is the amazing closing track, Stop. Using simple beats and meshing their individual styles perfectly, the song builds and builds in such small increments you barely notice how large it actually becomes. Sarah’s hushed vocals add just the right energy to the lush tapestry of sounds that slowly engulfs you. This record is one that will grow on you if you give it a few spins.

MP3:: Girl
Stream three songs on myspace.

Posted at 1:55 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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