Plaid – Reachy Prints
Between 1997 and 2003, Andy Turner and Ed Handley delivered four oustanding albums, peaking with 2001's Double Figure, a measured, endlessly rewarding suite of deep, textured electro. Returning in 2011 with the somewhat underwhelming Scintilli, they have kept their hand in, but Reachy Prints sees them return with gusto to the ambitious sonic realms of their golden age, and deliver an album that almost ranks with their best.
Gently shimmering opener Oh and Boards of Canada-esque Hawkmoth are both top notch, but it's when the more brooding Nafovanny kicks in that you are reminded of Double Figure's darker palette, warped bass synths scraping the beat.
Slam's seasick arpeggios weave elegantly through each other like DNA strands; the sparse, minimal Wallet reverberates with chiming synths and filtered glitches. Ropen's looming, textured bass sketches hallucinogenic textures on the minds' eye, while closer Liverpool St's revels in drunken synth-funk and fairground pianos. Not every track arrives with quite the same potency, but it's a thrill to hear Plaid reaching for new summits.