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Plastiq Phantom :: Enjoy The Art Of Lying Down Review

Signal To Noise

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What do you call a guy who obsessively programs computer music on the bus everyday as he commutes to work? Crazy? A bit compulsive? Here in Tokyo, the land of hand held computer gadgetry, no one would probably notice, but I believe Darrin Wiener, the foce behind Plastiq Phantom, when he says that his Seattle co-commuters often reacted to his habitual bus-based compositional activities with confused queries. Nevertheless, this obsession has lead to a highly refined collection of electronic music. Sometimes highly melodic and ethereal, other times harsh and dissonant, this 16-track disc simultaneously recalls goofy '80s techno-pop and Xenakis. While some of this stuff is simply too synthetic and soulless for these ears, its hard not to dig the passion for perfection Wiener maintains throughout. And the fact that he cites John Carpenter as an influence (Not to mention the fact that "Kicking Mister Bubbles" sounds a lot like an outtake from the "Halloween" soundtrack) IS pretty cool.

--Jeff Fuccillo