Monday, September 24, 2012

Plaisance Take To The High Seas In Regatta

I love a well themed release, the concept album may be irrelevant to most modern music but it's something that takes on bold new definitions when used as the format for 80s inspired synth music. As it lends itself so well to soundtrack music, it's also capable of telling it's own tales and making it's own aural adventures. Plaisance's new album Regatta takes the concept of sailing the ocean in fierce competition as the basis for this record, working in equal doses of atmosphere, action and the thrill of the race packaged into one beautifully engaging experience.

Life by the ocean is a staple of many 80s themed experiences, whether its cruising the coastline in the latest european sportscar, soaking up some rays with some hardbodies beachside or watching the sunset over the waves breaking across the shoreline. Regatta takes the adventure even further as it travels from the safety of the coastline and into the deep blue ocean, where the wind is your only source of power and the elements conspire against you at every tack and turn.

The story begins at Sunrise. The first rays of a new day bring with it the excitement of once again being on the ocean, this combined with the anticipation of the race ahead creates an instant morning buzz. Shaking off the dreams of the night before and rising to the challenge of the day gets things in motion and our focus on the blue horizon begins. We're up before the alarm even goes off, and when it does it reminds us that time is something we don't have a lot of. The morning routine is a rush and a blur as the synth melodies ride across the morning breeze. Bright sounds bring the morning to life as our hearts beat faster in time with the music, bringing in an electronic energy to the morning rituals.

Time to get to the beach and to our yacht and Rafales gets things rocking along with the beat of a new day filled with promise and adventure. The beats seem dance across the whitecaps on the bay, glinting, rising and halting with fervor and passion. Once we reach the shoreline the milling crowds separate to allow access to our craft. It's gleaming hull reflecting the waterline, bobbing gently as the swell caresses the bow. Time for one last chance to check her out, make sure the rigging it set and do some quick tests before taking her out. The other sailors are making their way to their boats, but the music makes us focus on our vessel. Bonding with her and the anticpation gives way to contemplation as we get right into the zone.

The start of the race erupts with an opening stanza of melodious and symphonic synth power, matching the breeze's force as we open up the mainsail and begin cutting through the chop and increasing speed as the competition starts. The action is unrelenting with percussion and rhythms trading blows as we head windward. The light dances across the water as the solos shred the air, cutting like a blade of sound. The spray splashes over us and the sound doesn't miss a beat, taking us faster and farther into the vast blueness ahead. It's time to Sail For Glory and push both man and vessel to the limit.

But the competition begins to rise to the occassion, the ocean is a minefield of flying yachts moving in seemingly endless directions, hunting and searching for the right angle to capitalise on the wind direction. They say it's luck but we know it's intuition as the pounding rhythms take us away from the pack and the Tailwind picks up, like a turbo boost our craft feels ready for take off as the guitars soar in and rock us even harder.

Now is the time to show them what we're made of and win this race. A Spindrift attack is the only way and man and yacht become one as the ocean's unrelenting power does it's best to separate us. The power and force drives hard against the hull and wind feels like a gale, ready to almost tear both into shreds. Only our tenacity keeps us right on course, taking on all mother nature can throw, careening through the high seas and just as the mast threatens snap and we're torn from bow to stern we cross the finish line,.. FIRST!

Almost immediately it feels like the gods of the sea have relinqusihed their powers and allowed the chop of the whitecaps to ease into a serene Mer d'huile. The surface of the ocean is like glass as our yacht coasts through it. It's a time for reflection both inward and outward. The race is run and the victory is ours. The elation felt inside our exhausted body, drenched with saltwater and every muscle burning with pain. But the melodies remind us of why we do this. It's not about the glory, it's about the conquest of the fear inside. The quelling of the demons that haunt us. The satisfaction of completing that personal goal. The sun is setting on this epic day, the orange water washing around us as we stare into the horizon. Full of respect for the mighty powers of the ocean and at peace for the first time in what feels like forever. The Regatta is over and our victory is felt deeper than we thought possible.

Plaisance's Regatta LP is available for free download on their Bandcamp here. This nautical adventure of high action on the high seas and is most certainly a Synthetix approved experience.


  1. Hi rick!
    Thanks for this extraordinary review I couldn't have done it better myself! Glad to see that someone understood the mood I wanted to set on this tracks. I couldn't reach you by email since i don't have a facebook page so if you could email me via bandcamp so we can discuss a little further and maybe send you some fresh stuff. Cool blog by the way and it's an honor to have my name here amongst music that i love. One more time thanks a lot hoping to get some news soon.
    Greatings to Oz from south west france!

    1. Done and done! Looking forward to experiencing more music from you.