Saturday, 25 August 2018

Plini "Sunhead" (2018)

After the exuberant Handmade Cities released two years back, one of my favorite albums that year, Plini has captured my interest as one to watch, an astonishingly talented guitarist with a defined sound capable of mustering lasting wonder and inspiration in the wake of a constant melodic onslaught. Sunhead is the newest release, a four track mini album curating the best of his output in a short but sweet experience that lightly expands the aesthetic pallet with a couple of exotic instruments and obvious moments of inspired Jazz.

The xylophone, saxophone and expanded synths tones arrive on the back of a Jazz Fusion kick that makes itself known in the opening phase of Klind, the free form tangents of Flaneur and lead solos on title track Sunhead. They provide a welcome expansion but certainly not a necessary flavor to Plini's sound which shows no signs of exhaustion in its current form. The Jazz melds seamlessly into the flow of dazzling music that is ever evolving in its Progressive form.

The four tracks make a dense web of music, easy to enjoy on the surface and deep in its construct. Llayers of instruments weave gorgeous details both textural and tuneful into the ever unfolding songs that Plini sings over with the accent of his endless lead guitar playing. Despite it being defined and distinguished, there seems to be no lack of places to explore on the fret board. With him and the other instruments constantly unleashing such dexterity and joy not a second passes without awe.

The production is gorgeous, a warm, authentic and timeless tone graces the crisp, clear, modernized recording with character and meaning. The percussion is especially enjoyable on this project, Chris Allison manages to find a stunning flow of groove and fluidity in his decoration of the beat with exotic fills that run through almost every moment, loading the record with another layer of musicality to dive into.

In the records most ambitious moments two things emerge, the mastery of the Djent groove which moves seamlessly into the natural crescendos and peaks as a part of a bigger picture, rather than some forceful event of singular momentum. Its other big moments are in the gleaming melodies which rise into lead melodies and hit big notes with a touch of 80s cheese, something I can't quite put my finger on but is certainly their with fondness. Its a truly exceptional twenty minutes of excellence.

Rating: 9/10