Friday, 26 March 2010

PAUL BRADLEY / COLIN POTTER – The Simple Plan + Accretion

Abrupt changes in life determine a lot. Subsequent occurrences go well enough, or the chosen course leads to disaster; we’ll never know in advance. But after a page is turned, there’s usually no way back and the truth must be accepted as it is. Both Paul Bradley and Colin Potter recorded this music under the influence of “significant new chapters” in their personal existence, deciding to leave the results of the studio procedures virtually untouched and with just a minimal intervention of the computer, utilized only to record and arrange the sounds.

Reality may indeed change, although when people like Bradley and Potter are involved you instantly identify the consequence in terms of sound. It’s spelled “magnetic drones”. In this field the pair belongs to the upper echelon, regardless of the instruments used (in this occasion, synthesizers and guitars processed by “a selection of new and classic pedals”). The Simple Plan constitutes the original root, five tracks whose mood – always confined within the borders of virtual stillness – ranges from extremely harmonious to reasonably contaminated, in either case filling the environment with a blend of resonant vibration and mild unease. The 135-copy special edition reviewed here, now sold out, comprises a bonus disc – Accretion – containing three beauties born from the reworking of the basic material yet sounding even more intense, to the point that this writer maintains a slight preference for the latter CD (though the sonic essence is exactly the same).

The electronic cloud that cuddles our nerves in everlasting stasis (repeat mode is obviously suggested) symbolizes the ideal practice for forgetting – at least momentarily – about any aching that might be trying to attack your determination in remaining balanced despite eventual negative circumstances. It is also a symbol of the fact that certain things remain unaltered, as one can still count on the earnestness of elected sculptors of hypnosis when all that’s needed is a couple of hours of mental peacefulness. Words aren’t contemplated when the explanations are given by morphing layers of waggling pulses, and this work offers plenty of that.