Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Plaisance Down By The Lake

It's no secret that Synthetix.FM is a huge fan of french composer extraordinaire Plaisance. This artist is consistently releasing killer new tunes that have his own branded style and always sound fresh and engaging. His style always seems to work within a concept or thematic that governs the experience. Last years EP's by Plaisance were of a decidedly nautical nature and in 2013 Plaisance has moved to waters of a stiller, darker kind.

Down By The Lake is a three track EP that's wholly inspired by the classic  TV series Twin Peaks. I for one was massively enthralled by this series upon it's initial airing and have subsequently revisited it numerous times over the years, each time being fully engaged and entertained by it's uniqueness. Although technically from 1990 there's always something I find distinctly 80s about Twin Peaks, it's a time capsule of the end of the decade that united audiences around the world as true 'event TV' in ways not seen since the glory days of Dallas and V.

To say I was surprised that Plaisance used this particular series for the theme of his latest EP is quite an understatement. I associate this artist with bright, sparking disco sounds that are devoid of the darker side of life and deal much more with action than drama. To hear his take on Twin Peaks is a very deft sidestep from the traditional Plaisance sounds, keeping much of his sounds we love, but adding a twist to the proceedings that make for an unsettling atmosphere which is perfectly in step with the source material itself.

Each track is delightfully structured around the complex relationships depicted in Twin Peaks. Opening with Laura & James we're instantly embroiled in forbidden passions as James Hurley's bike accelerates away. The tempos and structures are pure Plaisance, but the moods and melodies are forged of darker stuff. Inquisitive in nature, they spread like a fog through the night, claiming everything as it's own and unstoppable as it covers the lowlands of Twin Peaks. Even the catchy synth lead is mired in a twisting doubt that panics it's way into a delirious rush that ends in a disaster to be felt by all it touches.

Laura's boyfriend, Bobby begins an inquiring conversation with his father, Major Briggs in the second act. The major recounts a vision as the music builds with a deliberate drama that flows into synthesized guitars and a powerhouse drum track. The sinister is turned up ever so gently throughout this piece as the seamy underworld of Twin Peaks begins to writhe in an attempt to hide it's shame. The music plays the perfect role in displaying the two sides of much of the characters in the show. The bright and dark, the good and evil, the sides that can take over, even briefly, and leave long lasting scars. As the melodic refrain echoes into the local surrounds it becomes very clear simple answers are not even in the realm of possibility.

The final chapter is Norma & Shelly with a scene in the Double R Diner as the plot deepens with shocking new discoveries. The music takes an unexpected turn into bouncy, funky disco with wonderful orchestral stabs and soaring melodies. This is not without it's darker side, however, as the slowly surreal synth leads bring the sound into a much less joyous space and instead asks harder questions, enquiring delightfully and uncovering the secrets of Twin Peaks as it progesses. The final sample of Shelly leaving the diner is exquisitely used to finish the experience.

The Down By The Lake EP is presented for FREE on Plaisance's Bandcamp page here and provide a wonderful insight into this artist's inspirations, while providing an eloquent trip down memory lane to those who are already fans of Twin Peaks. And if you've never had the pleasure of this series then I highly recommend you enjoy this classic example of quality 'event TV' as soon as possible too.

No comments:

Post a Comment