Francis Plagne & crys cole
Two Words (Black Truffle; LP)
This debut 33 + a third runs at just about 33 minutes, featuring the duo of Australian songwriter Francis Plagne and Canadian sound artist crys cole. There are no ‘songs’ here. The single track, Two Words, is broken over two sides and at first is the barebones of open ocean waves, or is it static? The im/plausibility either/or creates an initial infectious tension. A high frequency, low output tone enters and fades. And the quirky coverart (courtesy of painter Anne Wallace) gives us no further in, only leading us to a fork in the road journey in the middle of a lush somewhere in a retro sportscar. The micro crackling becomes even more layered, lapping away, swaying from left to right channels quite fluidly.
This record may have well just been titled ‘unplugged’ – it’s a pure open source with subtle meandering and minimal effects. If you are a fan of early Raster-Noton or Mille Plateaux, or otherwise appreciate the essence of noise this will appeal immediately. Mind you, this is not a quintessential ‘noise’ record per se, in fact at midway a church-like organ enters, adding a time-released harmony atop new swerving feedback. When the shimmery chatter does down we are left with a sweet bare keyboard, one that’s distantly reminiscent of an old school county fair-style circus. These two have brought us an innovative take on defeated recollections with a voice listing “…Christopher Columbus, border crossings, urban biology, millennial fables, domestic archeology, ethnic radio, Sputnik’s cousin, typewriter music, Rodney King, black swan, white camel….” and on and on. Without making comment it’s a deadpan, exquisite corpse broken social commentary. Plagne’s vocal comes off as a sing-song poker-faced minstrel along the lines of Stephin Merritt. And in the final quarter the voice is duplicated and layered, with gentle background whistling, squeaks and drone organ – making for powerful, playful earplay.