Plaster (a.k.a. Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri and Giuseppe Carlini, who used to be the second player when Plaster was a twosome) is one of Kvitnu’s main acts. Kvitnu put out the album Platforms (2011) and the mini album Zyprex 500 (2011). Their latest release is called Mainframe. It’s back to the experimental, deep, dark sounds of futuristic techno-eletronica.
From the opening sounds of “Unicore (Part 1-2)”, we are brought straight into the dark, spooky world of Plaster. Valeria Svizzeri has added her ghost-angelic voice to this opener plus two of the other tracks on Mainframe (“Lucubra” and “Unicore (Part 3)”). The unicorn’s flight spinning through an ambient landscape full of spook-beats is spellbinding. “Blade” is like the soundtrack to an invisible threat sneaking upon you in the dusk dark night. Layers and layers of sounds and pulsating rhythms build up, and you sense something’s moving around – tapping your shoulders, touching your hair. Like this secret, invisible ‘something’ keeps flickering through some dark, moist and steamy factory surroudings, or some vast and dusty volcanic spaceland. At times, listening to this feels like entering some dark, post-apocalyptic dystopia setting which somehow manages to appear like a safe place after all. Maybe some ‘Blade Runner’ state of mind, with paranoid androids and high voltage sheep.
Plaster for sure builds drama within most of the tracks, such as on “Redshift” which is shifting, swerving directly into “Unicore (Part 3)”. In fact, this is a trick throughout the album as the songs never pause. Each track steps straight into the next one. “Cluster System” is one of the more intense tracks towards the end, (along with “Primal”). Here, as well as on earlier tracks I come to think of Tangerine Dream leaning on a less ‘dancy’ Aphex Twin beat. Then comes the closing “Coiled Heart” unveiling the sound of a steady heartbeat with an electric hiss and spark to it – tinted with slow waves of some orchestra-mood harmonies washing over it. Mainframe is ebbing, fading, vanishing. Plaster is both soft and hard, as the soft mixture form a smooth, hard surface when drying. The various stages in the process ‘going there’ is the thing. Mainframe lives, moves and transforms into a piece of art of the ‘sound installation art’ kind. The texture of the music is like a constant flow with a perfectly right tension, making this work a captivating listen.