steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"PlastikDisc" CDR

Brown Coffee Recordings

Genre: IDM, minimal techno, techno

Aug 28 2008

Montreal-based electronic artist SampleScience (a.k.a. Pierre Parenteau) takes obvious cues from compatriot Plastikman, but also culls influence from IDM stalwarts like B12, The Orb, and of course Aphex Twin. In fact, PlastikDisc is a great throwback to the ambient and IDM music of the nineties, emerging as a fine record that greatly surpasses expectations given its low-scale release.

Made entirely on computer and composed mostly of samples, PlastikDisc is for the most part a very chilled-out album. Rhythmically, the songs are straightforward though not stellar, but the way Parenteau builds the tracks up piece by piece is what makes them satisfying. "Bamboo" is a good case study - it is nothing more than a simple rhythm and some synth and bass lines, but it turns out melodic in a manner akin to Warp's Artificial Intelligence series. Also strong are momentous "Retro & Sad(ik)" and unconventional "Magic Spell Rounder." Of course, the disc isn't uniformly superb, but what some tracks lack in instant appeal, they make up for in chill-out value. Admittedly, these songs do seem a bit fragmented because of their short durations (only two tracks pass the four minute mark), but the hefty number of compositions provides the listener with a lot of content and variety.

PlastikDisc is a blast from the past, for sure, and the fact that any of these tracks wouldn't sound out of place on a mid-90s Plus 8 or Rephlex compilation may mean SampleScience will have trouble finding contemporary fans. Still, in an electronic music market heavily saturated in big name club DJs and all that electro miscellany, it is refreshing to hear an album that harkens back to techno's humbler beginnings.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, 48:25, distributed by the label, released 2008]