What I'm listening to: Pictureplane
Even if you've never heard of Colorado-based party act Pictureplane, chances are you've felt its influence. Pictureplane creator Travis Egedy has long been a creative force to be reckoned with, throwing epic parties at Denver's DIY heaven, Rhinoceropolis, and snatching and repurposing famous samples (such as Fleetwood Mac's "Seven Wonders") to craft stunning and warped dance tunes.
What I’m listening to: Pictureplane
Kate Bracaglia, Philly.com Music Blogger
Even if you’ve never heard of Colorado-based party act Pictureplane, chances are you’ve felt its influence. Pictureplane creator Travis Egedy has long been a creative force to be reckoned with, throwing epic parties at Denver’s DIY heaven, Rhinoceropolis, and snatching and repurposing famous samples (such as Fleetwood Mac’s “Seven Wonders”) to craft stunning and warped dance tunes. He’s also credited with coining the term “witch house” (originally, he says, “as a joke”) and at one point, covering audiences with baby powder. It’s all in a day’s work for the young producer, who believes music is a tool to “elevate the human mind” and has even drafted manifestos on the topic, such as that which accompanies his newest release, Thee Physical, out August 19.
The simple experience. The tragic experience. The profound.
The understanding of the third dimensional “real.” Objectification. Thee high awareness that is sensation. Life is sensation/al. All sensation is sensory. Feel your mind. Touch my mind. The infinite symbolism of the never ending passing of energy. Thee flux.
On paper, it sounds half-pretentious, half new-wave bullshit; explored through music, it’s near transcendent. Consider, for example, first single “Real is a Feeling,” a buzzy, synth-y track that juxtaposes overdriven digital noise with vocals that insist, over and over, that “life is a feeling.” And it feels a lot like a sweat-soaked, late night dance party. In fact, Physical overall sounds a lot like a dance party, assuming party attendees are cool kicking it old skool (as in: ‘90s techno) and maybe celebrating the perversion of body image + gender along the way.
The record kicks off with “Body Mod,” a quirky, caffeinated dance jam that samples vintage DnB for a result that is part chillwave goodness, park funk. “Black Nails” is a dreamy slice of dance floor gold, counterpoint melodies layering to swirling effect—while “Sex Mechanism” collages pop, funk, and R&B over throbbing bass and wiggly keys.
“Post Physical” is an album highlight: a hazy, boozed-soaked groove with washed out synths and faraway vocals that assert “we are all post physical.” In a postmodern (and post-obsessed!) world, is there anything else? “Tracegender” is equally seductive, with a classic pop melody, and powerful guest vocals from Zola Jesus; of all the songs here, this is my guess for Tune Most Likely to Appear on Gossip Girl, season 5. Closer “Thee Power Hand” samples both The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers to explore notions of body image and control, fading into near silence after 2 minutes, only to build back up again. Is it the “infinite symbolism of the never ending passing of energy” that Egedy describes? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a rad tune. We’ll take it either way.