Artist: Planet Boelex
Release Date: Aug 31, 2013
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Release Label / Page: Softphase
I was almost giddy seeing the tweet looking for reviewers for the new Planet Boelex release the other day. My giddiness escalated to the point of feeling like a teenage girl as I unzipped my copy and started listening to ‘Exist’ for the first time. I have listened to Planet Boelex’s releases for several years now, and have a love for nearly everything Ossi has released on the Softphase label.
Then it hit me: in the netlabel community Planet Boelex is probably one of the best known, and I would say most loved artists there is, going all the way back to his demoscene days. At a minimum the task in front of me was somewhat daunting, needing to write a review that lives up to the expectations of a Planet Boelex release. And it might become an insurmountable task if I felt the recording was bad, and I had to write a review that carefully explained what I felt was wrong with the release while being fair to the artist (and his fans) at the same time.
I was still giddy about getting to listen to the new release to not dwell on the negative possibilities for too long. And fortunately my concerns about having to write a negative review were alleviated before the end of first track: Exist. And, as my luck would have it, my work became easier as each track unfolded before my ears.
In fact, the only negative thought that crossed my mind was… Nevermind. It doesn’t even bear mentioning in this review. The simple fact of the matter is this: if you like ‘Raja’ or ‘Little World’ you will find plenty to like in this release.
Noteworthy on this release, as with the past couple of releases are the collaborations: Lisa’s antenna, Mosaik, bad loop make appearances. Weldroid supplied a mix of one track, and Planet Boelex included his remix of a Krister Linder track. All in all, the majority of the tracks on this release are collaborations, leaving only the opening track Exist as the lone solo track.
But, from the beginning it is absolutely evident that Planet Boelex is in fine form. Colorful palettes of keyboard sweeps, underpinned by bass that form a basis for the counterpoint in the drum tracks. This isn’t a song about the struggles of existence, instead it is a painting that expresses the terrain of the human experience.
Each song that follows is similarly a painting or sculpture in it’s own right: keyboards forming the color palette and lighting, the percussion is the texture, bass line the binding agent. Thematically, the release seems to be an overall collage of bits and pieces of our lives: Exist, Stay, Unreasonable Reasoning, and Leaving Quietly all reflecting different stages or aspects of that we all go through in relationship to each other. The only piece that in title doesn’t fit is Space Walrus, however the aural qualities of the piece make it a fitting companion to the rest of the pieces. (And besides, I am likely reading too much into the subtext based purely on track titles.)
This recording is a wonderful addition to the Planet Boelex cannon, and fits right alongside ‘Raja’ and ‘Little World’. If you haven’t followed Planet Boelex since his early Monotonik releases, I highly recommend picking up all three releases (‘Little World’, ‘Raja’ and ‘Exist’) and listening to them as a single body of work – they really fit together well.
Planet Boelex & Lisa’s antenna – Stay