The Anatomy of Melancholy

“Pleq (the extremely prolific Bartosz Dziadosz, from Poland) and Mikel Lauki (from Barcelona) follow up their “Gravity Lens” release on Ephre Imprint with this new (but limited) release. The album title and artwork may serve as a perfect description for their music. The first ten tracks (no titles, just numbers), are followed by four remixes by Maps and Diagrams, Spheruleus, OfftheSky and Antonymes, who are each zooming in deeply to focus on different details”.


released 10 December 2011
on Somehow recordings www.somehowrecordings.co.uk
format: CDrAll tracks written and produced by Bartosz Dziadosz and Mikel Lauki at the turn of 2010 and 2011.Track 01 – Violin by Tomasz Mreńca
Track 04 – Poem by Loulwa Beydoun
Track 11 – remix by Tim Diagram (handstitched.net/tag/maps-and-diagrams)
Track 12 – remix by Harry Towell (www.audiogourmet.co.uk)
Track 13 – remix by Jason Corder (www.offthesky.com)
Track 14 – remix by Ian M Hazeldine (www.antonymes.co.uk)Mastering by Mikel Lauki
Artwork by Loulwa Beydoun
Album cover and Design by Timo David Brice

reviews

Sound Scaping:

The build up of a gloomy state of mind is more is easier on the ear than the title of the record would suggest. The tracks flow softly from one to another. Calmness seems to be the scarlet thread of the cd. Filled with interesting texture and sometimes an eerie melody, the listener led through an interesting journey by Pleq and Lauki.

The different tracks have different feel to them, and the melancholia can be sensed well. Depression and melancholy, a bit different and yet similar. It is easy to be drawn into the vibrating sounds that vibrate through the tracks, slipping into a lighter shade or a familiar tone here and there. The few tones emanating from a piano makes these tracks much more accessible than if stripped away. The track entitled II is a good example of how a minor adjustment such as the adding of a few natural tones transforms an otherwise harsh track into a pleasant melodic journey.

A different type of track I also enjoyed was entitled XII. The natural sound I was refering to earlier are pushed a bit further into the background, and instead it is a sort of dark futuristic maelstrom that is unleased. The fury is short lived though.

The same applies to another track born out of a noisy birth – XI. On this track the fragments of its violent start is petering very slowly into the background while it evolves into a beautiful and easy melody. This contrast of harsh and metallic versus simple melodies are a constant feature of this album. Often the balance is quite good. On a personal level I would have liked to listened to some of these tracks a bit longer than Pleq and Lauki has allowed us.

The album also features four remixes by different artists. I think it is a credit to the album proper that none of the mixes are as good as the original tracks.

I would recommend you to listen to this album

Pleq & Lauki outdo themselves with this beautiful recording. It is right in time for the winter session. The songs, while coming from far away, possess warmth. Of course the pianos are still there, the violins are too, yet there’s a greater depth to the work. This is not the first time the two have worked together; they put out an EP earlier this year. Yet with more space they explore more territories and textures. The result ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ is quite affecting.
At times ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ reminds me of Stars of the Lid’s early work, particularly ‘The Ballasted Orchestra’. ‘V’ has this particular, darkened mood. When the violin comes in it simply confirms it for me. For me at least ‘V’ may be the strongest track on the album, and the remix is wonderful as well, even if the remix lightens the original somewhat.
Even with the calm tone, there are a few surprises. ‘XI’ is one of those surprises. It starts out with harsh static noise before settling into an organ/piano pattern. The static evolves into an accompaniment of the organ, piano, and eventually violin. For an ambient record to include such a curveball is greatly appreciated, as it does wake up the listener.
There is a lot within this album. Personally I enjoy the shorter tracks, as they appear to have a bit of mystery. And the remixes, which usually don’t accompany an ambient record, are excellent, with Offthesky’s rising above the rest. I’m glad Pleq + Lauki finally got around to releasing something so diverse, giant, and soothing.
Here we have a track that begins with more unnerving, brittle and faintly jarring orchestration that suits the unsettled times we live in, strings like shards of frost slicing across your spine, somehow you want more and more as it hurts in a really nice way. This CD then dives into many different pools full of shimmering glacial waters and fluttering, sweeping clusters of amorphous dreams. It’s mainly built within the framework of astral inclined ambient neo-classical and twinkly minimalist composition, cruising high up in the skies, amongst the clouds and is quite breathtaking in parts. There’s not much more top say except buy the damn thing, Pleq is always a truly absorbing listen, one of the more exciting experimental sound merchants practicing today and the art card you get with this release is pretty cool too. I don’t really know who Mikel Lauki is but it’s nice to hear his work mingling with Mr. Dziadosz’s.
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