The fourth Plafond sees fine-crafted contrasting pieces complement each other in courtesy of Ulla Straus and Oceanic. Along the wide arbitrary landscape of listening or ‘ambient’ music, it is a delight to have two artists, separated by the vast Atlantic, contributing quite opposite interpretations of such to the series. Perceptual time feels as a recurrent theme which binds them, albeit in a whole different modus operandi.
In her iconic tactile productions, Straus excavates levels of advanced musical complexity in the seemingly most simple. Throughout two tracks her crude and beautiful technique riffles, compositions that remain prone to the transient, combining field recordings with morphing saxophone and guitar. This is deeply evocative music that turns its recipient into a mode of contemplation. ‘I Forgot to Take a Picture’ breathes melancholic romanticism, ‘Becoming Warm’ feels lorn yet hopeful. Pastoral haze over a rouge-tainted barren, the crackling insides of a wooden forest house. Picturesque and minimalist, Pennsylvania’s Straus manages to temporarily stop the sand from gravitating downwards.
Oceanic antagonises Straus with the triptych ‘Three Sides of a Shell’, recalling different emotions adhering to the fourth dimension. As a performing artist, Oceanic masters the element of suspense. Here, over the course of nineteen minutes, a three-note sequence is explored within the producers imaginatory, chapterised, providing moments to navigate through his fictitious galaxy. Stuttering melodies across azure waters, synthesised bleeps as flickering stars over a moonlit mountain pass. Oceanic’s music feels advanced through actively incorporating contemporary futurism, whilst never losing the glacial glance that is so familiar to its early nineties foregoers. It is as if listening to ‘Three Sides…’ heightens the senses, towards possibility, innovation even, triggering illusions of time dilation, shattering the hourglass.
Comes in hand printed dreamy, pink sleeve, including Obi-strip, by the BAKK Innerspace Ink Station.