Plastiq Phantom :: Enjoy The Art Of Lying Down Review
For all the press praise it's received, the music of Plastiq Phantom, or Darrin Wiener, does little other than remind me that composing solo with expensive machinery, while passing for innovative, and perhaps rightfully so, is to me little more than auditory masturbation. It didn't affect me. On Enjoy the Art of Lying Down, Plastiq Phanthom serves up close to twenty Warp-schooled, drum and bass bits with a distinct Far East influence that could appeal to many. And I too love lushly produced, atmospheric soundscapes with manic spoons-on-kitchen-tables drum sequences ala Autechre, but this dissertation in programming is missing a backbone. It's drenched in simplicity and incongruity. It's a given that the sensory experiences we individually derive from and appreciate in music are different. And it's not as if songs that fail to rely on standard and accessible structures leave me dumbfounded; I too can enjoy the experimental or, dare I say it, absurd. But the beats on Enjoy the Art of Lying Down were not strategically placed and layered to contribute to either the context of the compositions or their visceral potential. They were illogical, and I spent my time pondering their placement rather being moved by them. And what is it with the Zelda-like tracks, which listening to I imagined myself retrieving a treasure from a towering Oak or sword fighting a samurai with Godly arms skills? Forays into Aphex Twin-inspired Head Techno can soothe and envelope the mind in a blanket of delectable tonal bliss. For what Plastiq Phanthom is capable of, look to "Slouch," or "492 Cups to China," two numbers whose hypnotic sterility is somewhat allowed to run its course without being thwarted.
-- Laurent Lebec