Groj Playmorium

Groj Playmorium
8
Caught somewhere between the hyper-melodic arpeggios of James Holden's Border Community and Applescal's young Atomnation label lies the second album by Montreal-based producer Kevin Jamey, a.k.a. Groj. Playmorium is a generally cheerful work of analog synthesis that balances disorienting layers of melodic psychedelia with intellectually stimulating kraut-y grooves. The ambient textures of "Cosmic City" give way to carefully placed sequences that highlight Playmorium's best features: the album is dominated by feel-good melodic themes accented by Groj's occasional bass guitar rhythms and loose drum sounds that were recorded on his own $400 drum set. Likewise, "Magic & Tea" sees Groj spacing out further skyward, embarking on a wave of pulsating melodic lines complemented by Groj's own vocal reminders that all is just that: magic and tea. While other tracks like "Barny's Wagon" and "Flying Fanfare" could easily find themselves among Traum's slightly more aggressive catalog, Playmorium as a whole is a consistently happy work, and an excellent sophomore album from one of Canada's most underrated electronic musicians. (Box Records)