Even within the admittedly limited canon of semi-improvised
genre-hopping side-project albums, the third from About Group (Hot
Chip’s Alexis Taylor,
Spiritualized’s John Coxon, This Heat’s Charles Hayward and free-jazz bigswinging-dick Pat Thomas) is a decidedly odd affair.
It would be a catastrophic one, too, were it not for ‘All Is Not Lost’ – the rightful heir to Ginuwine’s ’90s sleaze classic ‘Pony’ – and a couple of other
ear-catching curios. If you’ve ever wondered how Alexis Taylor would
tackle a bluesy, freewheelin’ cover of ‘Walk On By’, for example, you’ve
come to the right place.
Surrounding these, though, is the very worst kind of plinky-plonky, aimless “jazz” and a handful of half-finished Taylor songs that carry
none of the confidence improv demands.
About Group, then: crazy name, crazy band, infrequently brilliant and maddening for it.
This desire to not book-end is something that is also very
much reflected in the music that Enrico sketches out; a blend of
electronic shoe gaze and intelligent dance
music that puts him in the same musical sphere as such luminaries as M83, Fuck Buttons and Aphex Twin.
Take this all into consideration and it is with little wonder that he describes
his outpourings as being “Electronic Shoe-gazery” as he
digests and remoulds the same initial influences, albeit in a
slightly different way.
Freely admitting that he likes “layers of sounds”, his
music is often complex in design, yet when transposed to a
live environment it takes on a looser more liberated angle.
“Sometimes I play guitar on stage,” he explains “at other
times keyboards; it’s an open, evolving thing. It didn’t start
out with a live dimension as it started in a bedroom setting.
Usually I play alone, sometimes my friends from other bands will
play drums, it can work both ways, every time can be different.”
It’s this desire to not be 100% regimented to a static idea
that helps separate Death in Plains from others programming
loops and walls of sound at the moment, and he reassures that
there are plans to take the live experience further, almost
turning it into an art installation.
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