Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Conceptual Art: Plugs!

(If you're wondering what this is all about, click here.)

This week it's Caskared, who compensates for Paul's keyboardless wonders of a fortnight ago by including two in her line-up...

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Electronic are arguably the definitive synth supergroup who wrote the stunning 'Get The Message' and more back in the day. They consisted members of New Order and The Smiths collaborating with a Pet Shop Boy, a Kraftwerker and more. Electronic’s evil twin could have been Hooky, Morrissey, Chris Lowe and an austere German, but no, those guys just didn't fit the pulsing wave oscillator needed for today. Instead, here is not an evil twin but a younger sibling, and so, I present to you the line up for my ultimate electro synth pop collective: Plugs!

Vocals – Alison Goldfrapp
Dusky, breathy, sweet, twisted, sleazy, warm, cold, detached and more. With Goldfrapp on vocals Plugs! has its fuzzy wonky warm heart (the fuse?) singing through their analogue and digital tracks. At other times her voice comes through as ghost in the machine, an un-person from the other side of the speaker mesh, stuck in the tubes.

Keyboards, bass and production – Alan Wilder
Now, whilst I adore Martin Gore and his songwriting more than anything, I have missed Wilder’s input to the Mode since he split pre-Ultra. Wilder is the one that took Gore’s spare church organ chord demo of 'Enjoy The Silence' and turned it into the most delicious electro. He was also key in Depeche Mode revelling in samples and pioneering sounds in and of the 80s. With plenty of songwriting elsewhere in Plugs!, Wilder is crucial to shape and push the sounds.

Keyboards, guitars, and woobley noodlings – Cian Ciaran, aka the guy from the Super Furry Animals
I last saw him hunched over some twiddly knobs near his keyboard bringing some eclectic high pitched squealing joy to some SFA woozy indie. As a member of Acid Casuals and Wwzz he has an electric indie soul to embellish and build the Plugs! sound.

Drums and sulky rapping vocals – Chicks on Speed
The Chicks sound quite frightening, but in reality they’re lovely and so will be excellent to have around in the studio and on tour for the other members of Plugs! Rather than all of the Chicks programming / improvising drums from shoes or samples, they will fly in whichever Chick is free keeping it true to their rolling system of members. One night it’ll be hi-hats from Tel Aviv, the next a German-American rapping in art-school-bored monotone.

Stylophone and tenori-on – Victoria Hesketh aka Little Boots
Whilst in danger of being over-hyped, Little Boots is flipping amazing. Her songs are beautiful creatures, great melodies and a use of tech and improvising around sound from gadgetry that works beyond novelty.

Token French band member – Sebastien Tellier
Tellier works arpeggios hard.

Animals to appear on graphics - tabby cat and a mirrored flat deer in an airbrushed Bowie glam-era glitter landscape quarry.

Potential duets with: Russell Meal, Laetitia Sadier, Stuart Staples, Jane Birkin, Scroobius Pip, Karl Holmqvist reading Gurtrude Stein, Penfold.

Plugs!: coming to a Tech Noir and red-eye radio slot near you soon.

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Thanks to Caskared.

Next time (Monday 13th April): Mike


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