Dancing by We Will Fail

RP003 Artwork

We Will Fail | Dancing
Refined Productions (12″/CD/DL)

Released tomorrow from Warsaw’s We Will Fail (Aleksandra Grünholz) and is her latest, Dancing. Nicely mastered by Stefan Betke (aka Pole) the record has the feel of this strange intersection between instrumental pop/rock/techno and some sort of spicy contemporary chamber music. It’s got the beats, but a whole lot of atmosphere contributed to by a dissonant and harmonic set of synth drones that hold up nicely to the percussive impulses of Very Urgent. The nine tracks here are all quite neat and fluid given that they all run under five and a half minutes, so every second counts as Grünholz attests.

This is most definitely electronic music, with embedded voice samples on Economic Maladies, and upbeat effects throughout. This reminds me of so many other records and no other records in the same breath. It’s familiar but I don’t know why, and that is the crux, the tension, especially on tracks like Night (v.2) where it sounds like a send-up from The Crystal Method, (new) New Order, even Muse. It must be the stealthy production, it’s got the spirit of industrialism in its pocket yet is striking this pop-centric nod to electronica. Put Your Hands Up In The Air seems a bit pensive at first, but with a title like that you know things are destined to become physical, though it never leaves the floor. There’s a nice restrained minimalism to this particular track, like something you might expect from Byetone (Olaf Bender).

We Will Fail Press Pic 2 by Olga Ozieranska

The flight of minimalism continues on So Who’s The Man. With impulse-laden bleeps aplenty this has a funky underbelly worth turning over to inspect more closely. Speaking of – this continues to stay fairly close to the chest from end to end. The layers are stimulating and rhythmical. Beasts From The East is on the flipside, and begins (part two) with some sparse hesitation. It’s a long pause of sorts. As the artist shares “Taking a break from rationality, my first thoughts about the theme of this album were about the night, when our sight is limited and thoughts are corrupted by fatigue. I don’t dance anymore, I don’t party, I don’t let myself go. Some time ago that part of life slipped away from me. This album is like silently entering into a place you shouldn’t be in. A lot of rave inspired sounds were used on the album, dreamy pads, arpeggios, simple melodic structures; but this album is not easy and simple.” This plays with all those concepts freely.

Reason begins as if you are navigating a video drone, learning its quirks, its complications, taking the time to become one with the machine. With the enchantment of a video game, and the abstract electronic effects this is the most leftfield of all the tracks on this record. It almost sounds like she’s playing with a tape machine, stretching, pulling, elongating, fast forwarding – yet it is all still quite contained, and fairly low-lying. That is until the next track, which is 2018. And since it is, why not dedicate a piece of music in its name. Complete with handclaps and other retro flavors woven into the mix, this has a fun flair that takes a certain spotlight. In a way it is one of those types of tracks that defines self awareness and of exactly where we are technologically in terms of methodologies of modern electronic music. It’s mirroring itself, allowing the luxury of time, of history, to unfold upon itself.

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In the end Diving In Plastic brings the whole record home with an experimental, broken minimal techno that has the pitter patter of open sources, as slippery as a cardshark in New Orleans. One thing is clear, the percussion, like a tap dancer on steroids, presents the effectiveness of simplicity. It’s stylish and understated. The record as a whole has quite a range, not one to cage or pigeon-hole easily. In fact this defines the luxury of the term long-player, in that you will experience a series of varying sensations along the way. Go for it!

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