Plat Compulsion

Warmth vs. coldness — it’s a common theme when discussing analog versus digital sounds. This duality is often applied to Icelandic music, too. Plat’s Compulsion is yet another exploration of the analog/electronic dyad. The way in for Arnar Helgi Aoalsteinsson (drums and programming) and Vilhjalmur Palsson (bass/guitar) is by gigging like crazy with non-electronic instruments, then recording absolutely everything. The results are then sifted and sorted into songs. Given that stringed instruments are involved, this disc features changes and chord structures that sound more guitar-driven than keyboard triggered. The extraordinary electronic processing adds many layers of rhythm and colour to the analog content. This is not a cold recording by any stretch. They never pull out the obligatory Fender Rhodes sound to suggest a familiar kind of warmth or comforting jazzy vibe, they work hard to build their fire. Another aspect that sets Plat apart is their willingness to explore freer rhythms ("Trainers” being as good a free improv workout as anything around these days) in tandem with genuine head nodders ("Aftur”), which vary the pace considerably. Best of all, the rhythms all sound natural, neither quantised nor overly edited; they simply follow their own internal logic and are not dictated by a consistent tempo or a conventional rhythm section. Compulsion is a hard to describe masterpiece. (Unschooled)