steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Nole Plastique

"Escaperhead" CD

Nexsound PQP

Genre: psychedelia, experimental electronic, pop

July 28 2008

Russian duo Nole Plastique (Roman Kutnov and Aleksei Belousov) are a "romantic noise" band recently transformed into a more pop-oriented affair, and hence Escaperhead finds itself as the third release on Nexsound PQP. PQP, for those unaware of such matters, is the more melodic sublabel of Ukraine's Mego, Nexsound.

Nole Plastique describe Escaperhead as a sixties psych-rock influenced venture cross-bred, of course, with their penchant for experimental electronics and digital knob-twiddling. The thing has the makings of the second coming of Caribou's Andorra, but instead Nole Plastique have created a far stranger brew of otherworldly "pop." This, of course, means Escaperhead is a much less accessible piece of music that Andorra, but it happens to be an engaging one nonetheless.

Much like the decades of psychedelia that they draw inspiration from, Nole Plastique seem determined to smash convention with this record, and this is communicated well in the cacophonously melodic, Mouse on Mars-esque pseudo-orchestration of "In Things Around" and the strangely listenable sonic cornucopia of "Blue Fries." Meanwhile, NP is at their best on moody Mars melody "...Rolled in Slice' and glitch-cum-guitar-exploration "In Case You Fall In."

At times, NP could be criticized for being a touch too loose and disorganized - Escaperhead lacks the sort of instrumental textures found on more polished pop outings. However, this can be attributed to the psych-folk leanings of Kutnov and Belousov. On the other end, I wonder if some of these songs ("Sunset Stipple," "Wavy Red") might have sounded better if the vocals were a touch more tuneful, but perhaps NP's years behind laptops and knob panels have limited their vocal registers to an extent.

Overall, however, Escaperhead is an experiment that works. These eleven soundscapes are beautiful moodpieces - collisions between sixties rock and futuristic electronics that evoke sunsets, busy streets, intergalactic expeditions... Check your expectations at the door.

nole plastique's myspace


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Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]