Genre: psychedelia, experimental
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
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.
[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by