Ever since the post-rock movement came off age, bands are happy in combining influences of electronic and ambient music with their own trade. Today, it’s not a very novel thing to do and in fact, has it ever been an innovation at all? Unlike bands such as Sleepmakeswaves, who have made their signature sound from this phenomenon, Platonick Dive have approached the matter from a different angle. “Overflow” starts out primarily as an electronic album with roots in beats and glitchy vocals, yet the post-rock influences soon creep in, creating a really refreshing mix of both genres that surpasses the work of bands like 65daysofstatic in thoroughness and dynamics.
RELEASE DATE: 17 February 2015 LABEL: Black Candy Records
Platonick Dive describe themselves as creating “Electronic Therapy With Feedback Explosions” and while perhaps this only applies to their first album “Therapeutic Portrait”, “Overflow” is very much a psychological experience to listen to. The drums really add meaning to the word explosions in this genre description and the glitchy vocals and electrifying samples definitely make for a mental three quarters of an hour. Adding to this cerebral experience is the album’s production, which is very compressed. Every piece of sound is really in your face, that is to say, into your ears, and at points the album is really tiring to listen to. The drums are really clear and crisp up to a point that they wear you out and I find it hard to listen to “Overflow” for more than half an hour.
Vocals are sparse on this album but they are a true added value to the album. They make songs like “Please Dance Slowly” and “Mirror” stand out from the crowd. The rest of “Overflow” are either instrumental or cut up the vocals into glitchy musical passages. Especially “From Seattle to Berlin” shows an artful use of voice samples that makes it one of the definite highlights of the album.
A few tracks contain the spoken word passages and voice samples obligatory in post-rock. These passages deal with the sedative side of drugs, and it actually starts up a really interesting dialogue within me. “Geometric Lace” touches upon the medicinal qualities of marihuana that are presumed to greatly increase the quality of life of chronically ill people. “Backing Home Boulevard” mentions opium and the sedative effect it has upon the user, and my thoughts run as follows. In the early 19th century, hard drugs like opium and heroin have been used as a medicine and painkillers, but have since been sworn off. Over the past several years, marihuana has been legalised in a number of states in the US, which broadens the debate and adds possibilities for a more universal acceptance. On “Overflow”, Platonick Dive challenge the listener with the question; in what measure can we accept narcotics as medical sedatives?
Overflow is not only a very challenging album to listen to physically, but also style-wise it is a very interesting work of music. The art reaches deep into the territory of electronic music and it may therefore be the case that Platonick Dive fall short of reaching the fancies of post-rock fans. Nevertheless, “Overflow” is not an album that is to be disregarded and may find its aficionados among an even wider audience of electro-pop and glitch fans alike.