Release Date:2014 Sept 08
Genre: Acoustic Pop
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: La bèl
Psycho by Plusplus is the third part of the “Evils Trilogy” which started back in 2008 (however, there were delays in releasing each title, so they didn’t start appearing until 2011). Plusplus is Adam Radmall, and on this release he collaborated with Bryan Styles and Rob Scillitoe to produce a recording that is very earthy and grounded in sound.
Psycho by Plusplus
From the onset, this is a striking release. The opening guitar chords of ‘This is based upon a true story’ immediately made me think of Nick Drake. But as the song unfolds it takes on a cinematic quality, expanding before you like a slow tracking shot over the horizon of a field.
Throughout this release Plusplus plays with rhythm in ways that are mesmerizing. For example, in ‘Piano Song’ the primary rhythmic figure in the bass line of the piano is a Waltz style, while the right hand is playing a repeated duple figure, basically a two-on-three feel. Meanwhile the upright bass adds emphasis to the one beats, while the drums play an intricate counterpoint to the two-on-three lines. The effect is that of a whirlwind of dance that is unpredictable in where it will carry you.
Melodies in these songs come across as simple, and folk-like. However, the deception lays in the setting of the melodies. The attention to rhythm, texture and arrangement accented with melodic, hum-able melodies masks the sophisticated nature of these pieces less apparent.
There are some touches of electronics and experimentation in this release. But they are subtle. They blend in with the pieces, accenting their texture and never overwhelming or stealing the focus from the music itself. It’s a fine balancing act that is pulled off better than any Nik Wallenda high wire act.
This is a release I thoroughly enjoyed every note from beginning to end. The is an exceptional attention to detail in the texture and arrangement of these pieces. The touches of electronics and experimentation serve the pieces and accent the texture and atmosphere adding a new depth to them, and never distracting The rhythms are mesmerizing to the point of being almost hypnotic. This release is a serious contender for one of the finest recordings I’ve listened to this year (and there is some pretty stiff competition in that arena).