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coverpic flag Russia - Full Moon 143 - 05/20/08

Nole Plastique

Nole Plastique is by now the Russian duo of Roman Kutnov and Aleksei Belousov from Kazan. This is the band's second album, though the first one was only released on the net. This second one is housed in a nice grey and golden cardboars sleeve. 'Escaperhead is a collection of strange songs and tunes with the flavour of 60ies psychedelia, acid trips, lo-fi electronics, experimental sound design, improv-rock and other "sounds of the outer space" stuff in it. Too much may be, but that's the way we see the world sometimes...' says the press sheet of this release. That sounds like a too strange and untasteful soup, I thought, before I put the album on for the first time. After a few spins I had to admit it was quite an accurate description and, after all, the music was quite tasteful.

Here are flavours of the psychedelic 1960s with outer space excursions. Here are keyboards, electronics, vocals and guitars going forwards, backwards, upside and down. Here are vocals not dissimilar to the one of the late Syd Barrett and Peter Perrett of the Only Ones (that reunited last year!). With a couple of exceptions the album lacks the strong melodic sense of the best songs from that distant decade. This is compensated by a strong experimental side of strange sounding instruments, effects and sound collages. The lo-fi leanings are also present with somewhat careless production, ditto instrumental handling and deliberate distortions here and there. Which add to the experimental side.

The tracks that combine melodic elements with a strong experimental bias are particularly successful, like "Sunset Stipple" and "Wavy Red" that originally might have started as simple songs in the Barrett's solo era vein and then shaken into different beasts by strange sounding drums, twisted guitars etc. Or what about the instumental "In Case You Fell In", a collage of highly original sounds with some sweet and simple melody lines in between?

If you're seeking something fresh and original stuff far from well trodden musical paths, Escaperhead is not a bad place to start, not bad at all. Further information at the Nexsound home page and Nole Plastique's Myspace page.

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