- Audio CD (26 Sept. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Warp
- ASIN: B005G10E1S
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||£15.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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Seminal electronic artists, film soundtrackers, former Björk band members and sonic craftsmen Plaid have announced the release of `Scintilli', their new album.
The CD will be available in a `Muda na Mono' puzzle pack (as shown). It contains two die-cut rings and a CD which can be assembled. If correctly aligned, the sphere created allows the track titles to be read. The packaging reflects a desire to give the CD an ornamental function, beyond its primary use as a basic storage device for music.
The vinyl format is limited to 400 copies in the UK.
The album, the band's first `proper' studio album for eight years, positions Plaid as not only master craftsmen of electronic textures and beats but also as keen purveyors of emotionally affecting soundtracks.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
'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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After multiple listens I am once again immersed in Plaid bliss. Scintilli sounds more mature than Rest Proof Clock Work and offers a more comfortable experience than Trainer. I found that the creative quirkiness that makes Plaid so much fun is more subtle on this album.
The art on the cover follows the art on the album. Find the Yellow "P" and the Yellow "d" and Plaid emerges. The play is on positive and negative space and traveling between. Is is 3D or 2D??? It's BOTH! Some of the songs are light and airy and others sound heavy and dark. Each track is inside out and upside down of the the other tracks and yet it flows so well. Listeners with dedicated ears will be rewarded when the volume is up. I do not expect this Album to get old, boring or repetitive.
Put Plaid's Scintilli takes me back to the early days of modern electronica: early-mid 90's.
There was a playfulness and adventurousness back then that's lacking in much of electronic music these days. My inspirations were bands like Orbital, Underworld and Fluke.
There was a warmth and organic quality to those bands' music.
There was, for lack of a better word, 'presence' in that music which seems to have been lost in most modern electronica. Like there were actually people behind the machines. Not just loops and samples.
Scintilli brings back that warmth and playfulness.
No bloated 15-minute mind-numbing Trance anthems here. No tedious House remixes with drum machines on auto-pilot.
Each song here is a composition. With structure and forethought. A beginning a middle and an end.
There is heart in this music.
And it envelopes you like the warm embrace of an old friend.
What a pleasant surprise.
If only more electronic music artists would go down this road.
So, when I heard that plaid was returning to the scene with their first proper full length CD since 2003 I was excited. Well, after a few listens I'm underwhelmed.
Their work creating soundtracks has drastically effected their sound with "Scintilli" largely coming across as a cinematic movement, like it's the soundtrack to a movie yet made.
Several of the songs are simply slow moving cinematic string pieces with nary a beat in sight. When the beats finally kick in midway through the CD, they seem half hearted. There's still that distinctive plaid sound but it seems diluted through the filter of films.
What I loved about plaid was even when they did a slow track there was always an element that made it interesting. The slow stuff on "Scintilli" is just plain boring. Perfect example, the track 35 Summers is only interesting while viewing the surreal video involving a Japanese woman and an octopus underwater.
Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of tracks that are good but most of it is lacking. That surprises me since it's usually the other way around - I might dislike one or two tracks on a plaid release but will find the rest incredible. The last three tracks: "African Woods", "Upgrade", and especially "At Last" deliver the plaid sound I know and love and expect from these guys but sadly it's too little too late in an otherwise mediocre release.
What it comes down to, for me, is this: the direction plaid is going isn't a direction I want to follow with them.
Yet as disappointing as Scintilli is, it still won't stop me from seeing them live next month. One thing they do deliver on is giving an awesome live performance.