…Pleq – Quinn Walker – Split

Constellation Tatsu has had a busy year; but among a number of interesting works, this split C30 cassette by Pleq (Bartosz Dziadosz) and Quinn Walker stands out.

Starting off with a somewhat standard drone on ‘Inner Structure’, the album quickly gains a hazy patina, with static and surface noises gaining the foreground over slowly evolving harmonies. ‘Continuum’, again starting with straight-forward chord structure, begins to unsettle itself as contrasting harmonic elements vie for control towards the end of the piece. Minor tape effects add to a slightly woozy ending. This palette is extended in ‘Shoreline Drones’, giving the listener the idea of melody, but never stating it clearly enough to sound strictly pleasing – definitely the highlight of the 30 minute EP/album.

‘Unearthing The Past”s soft bitrot, which would normally be a bit gut-wrenching, at that volume and in that context becomes almost pretty. The album closes where it started, with a somewhat generic, if palatable, ambiance.

While parallels can be drawn to drone-heavyweights like Tim Hecker or Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (who also has a recent release on Constellation Tatsu), those two tend to blunt their traditional aesthetics through over-compression and moderate distortion. Pleq and Quinn Walker instead balance their melodies with conflicting chords, pitch modulations and unrelated pink noise – turning what would otherwise be monolithic songs into multi-faceted pieces.

While I try to keep my drone collection finely tuned (if I kept everything that was simply nice, I wouldn’t have room left on my laptop, or in my house, for anything else), this split is worth keeping.

Get the digital or cassette version at Bandcamp.