Review of As Pleat [12k1065]

Musique Machine (.COM)

Keiichi Sugimoto, founder of the Cubic Music label, delivers another slice of intricate and precise solo output under the pseudonym Fourcolor. This release is Fourcolor’s fifth studio album to date, drenched in spaced out vibes, blissed out melodies and glitch heavy sample skipping, ‘As Pleat’ shows a depth to music which is intentionally stripped back to the bone, small snapshots of time and space with intricate sub sections dancing amongst the peripheries.

‘Quiet Gray 1’ fills you with gleeful abandon, you know from the start this is something rather special; broken vocal stutters entwine with glacial atmospherics amidst longing, almost woeful tones that add a very subtle hint of trepidation, as you are gently swept away on a wave of psychedelic vibes. A strong opener which brings to mind artists such as Fennesz and even Warp Records luminaries Boards of Canada, the entirety of the album playing on that high level of emotional response the aforementioned artists are renowned for delivering. ‘Skating Azure’ and ‘Bleach Black’ pile on the relaxing ambience and dream inducing atmospherics, bringing in slices of non-descriptive ‘lounge’ style riffs and transforming the entire moment into something altogether more complex and interesting, with extremely low sub basses massaging your brain and lulling you further into the sonic void.

A short piece ‘Frosted Mint’ follows, ebbing and flowing, layered with broken shards of pulsating and ever changing noise modules, before ‘Carmine Falls’ injects the previous formula with droning tones and surface hiss, soaked with various hues of darkness before breaking down into its base parts and fading away gracefully. Further down the line you have the track ‘Ecru Driver’ which remind me of washed out techno playing far off in the distance with hints of dub thrown into the mix, melding the sampled acoustic elements and huge squelching synth bass together to form a coherent whole. Glitch and the rhythms thrown out between the notes are the big players here, engaging your brain and taking you on a journey which never feels repetitive or contrived, indeed the placement of the sounds are far too deliberate to have been laid down in a more improv or care-free fashion, every element feels like it has its place and purpose and brings everything together effortlessly. Overall the album is best left to wash over you, revealing to you its secrets, little by little, as you become engulfed in its beauty and helpless to its ability to play with the heart strings in the process…intensely spellbinding.

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