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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very very good. But not quite genius., 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: scintilli (Audio CD)
With 20 years under their belt, Plaid are showing that they are still able to make heartfelt, thoughtful electronica. Scintilli is Plaid's 6th album in the 20 years (excluding - perhaps unfairly - soundtracks / visual projects), and, while not a masterwork, is an extremely engaging and enjoyable listen.

Scintilli does not represent a huge progression for the duo, with the belief appearing to be firmly in the "it ain't broke, why fix it" line of thinking. And it certainly ain't broke.

The atmosphere of Scintilli does feel somewhat more sinister and perhaps mellower than previous Plaid works. However, fans will be relieved to know that the established Plaid formula is not drastically altered and from the outset it is clear to whose work you are listening.

The first track 'missing' introduces the album with the traditional Plaid discordant, beautiful cacophony of harpsichord, piano and harp somehow all combining to a tuneful introduction. The listener is thrown off-guard by the second track 'eye robot' with heavier, darker synths before being wrestled back to a state of the arhythmic uneasy comfort you would expect from Plaid. The rest of the album progresses in a very Plaid-like manner - with the possible exception of the fourth track 'unbank', which I challenge anyone to hear and not think of Dr Who

Scintilli is a comfortable and reassuring listen and has more 'hummable tunes' than on some previous Plaid works, although perhaps not ones which will embed themselves into your memory, such as on 2001's Double Figure.

While the idea of 'mellow electronica' conjurs up thoughts of bad beach bars, don't be fooled, this is not the disposable pop you find in these places. Put this album on in the background and you will find yourself paying much more attention to the album than you had expected. The epic yet claustrophobic soundscapes Plaid can trap you in won't surprise any fan, and newcomers will find many beautiful moments, contrasting with moments to dust off your rave socks for.

Scintilli, while not perfect, is a very good album, narrowly missing the 'brilliant' status of Plaid's wonderful Double Figure of 10 years ago. Scintilli is much less of a challenging listen than Greedy Baby (admittedly primarily a visual project) and will have a safe place on the playlist for a good while on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Beats and Sonic Treats, 23 Oct 2011
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: scintilli (Audio CD)
Plaid are British-based duo Andy Turner and Ed Handley and their album
'Scintilli' shows ample evidence of the pair's musical acumen and intelligence.
With its roots deeply entrenched in a rich seam of lyrical electronica the
thirteen fine tracks in this collection rarely fail to sustain our attention.

Melodically fascinating and rhythmically adventurous the music runs the gamut
from serious to playful with a light touch and a beady eye for small detail.
The arrangements are largely instrumental and when voices are sparingly used
they undergo substantial sonic transformation (the jaunty 'unbank' is a
particularly enjoyable and just-about danceable example). Although complex
in structure there are also some strikingly simple and tender moments too.
The limpid and luminous progression of 'craft nine' (the lower-case titles
belie their stature) is like a winter dream landscape frozen in time and
'35 summers' with its cascading crystalline water drops sounds as though it
might have been recorded in an underground cavern. A delightful confection.
'african woods' is a hoot'; bristling and bubbling along like a playful
puppy on its first walk in the park, it's almost impossible to keep still to!
Final track 'at last' rounds the set off in addictive laid-back Latin style.

I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time with this splendid little album.

Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy, 19 Dec 2012
By 
G. Whyte (UK - Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: scintilli (Audio CD)
For me, this is the electronic of the year. It's beautifully crafted. It's like art. Close to perfection. Plaid knew what they were doing here. Everything fits together perfectly as it was meant to be. Imagine Autechre having a blissful dream with the occasional reminder of what they're about - that dream is captured in Scintilli. Nice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 25 July 2014
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This review is from: scintilli [VINYL] (Vinyl)
A very beautiful layered album .
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scintilli by Plaid (Audio CD - 2011)
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