James Plotkin

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
OLD: Old Lady Drivers (1988), 6/10
OLD: Lo Flux Tube (1991), 6/10
OLD: The Musical Dimensions of Sleastak (1993), 6/10
OLD: Formula (1995), 6/10
A Strange Perplexing (1996), 6/10
Joy Of Disease (1996), 6/10
Aurora (1995), 5/10
Collapse (1996), 6.5/10
Flux: Protoplasmic (1997), 5/10
A Peripheral Blur (1998), 6/10
Romance: Bleak Memories (1999), 5/10
Mosquito Dream (1999), 6/10
Atomsmasher (2001) , 7.5/10
Phantomsmasher (2002), 6/10
Lotus Eaters: Mind Control for Infants (2002), 6/10
Lotus Eaters: Wurmwulv (2007), 6/10
Kurtlanmak/ Damascus (2006), 6/10
Indirmek (2008) , 6/10

James Plotkin began his musical career as the guitarist for heavy-metal trio OLD, with vocalist Alan Dubin and ever-changing drummer/bassists. They released albums that became more and more adventurous: Old Lady Drivers (Earache, 1988), Lo Flux Tube (Earache, 1991) and The Musical Dimensions of Sleastak (Earache, 1993). By the time of their fourth album, Formula (Earache, 1995), they had pared down to a duo and the instruments were credited as: "vocoded voice, looped guitar, synth guitar, bass, tapes, rhythm machine... and a drop of 303".

In the meantime, Plotkin had already started a new career as a bold and outrageous avantgarde musician, who built otherworldly collages of metal-dance music such as Clinton Street/ Dead Soul Surfing (Alley Sweeper, 1995), A Strange Perplexing (Indiscreet, 1996) for manipulated guitar sounds, and Joy Of Disease (Avant, 1996), for manipulated guitar, bass, rhythm machines and samples; as well as engaged in dynamite collaborations with the likes of KK Null (of Zeni Geva) on Aurora (Sentrax, 1995), that features his guitar tour de force Speeding Across My Hemisphere, and Mick Harris (of Scorn), on Collapse (Somnient, 1996), five lengthy pieces for looped guitar and natural/unnatural sounds.

He also began to coin ever new alter-egos: Jupiter Crew for the two-track EP Jungle Concrete (Possible, 1996), with Heads of Children and Rhino Charged; Flux for the album Protoplasmic (Release, 1997),

Plotkin also played in Namanax with Bill Yurkiewicz.

Romance's Bleak Memories (Noise Museum, 1999) is actually a Plotkin solo album, each of the nine tracks experimenting with a different instruments and electronic manipulations of their sounds.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami

If English is your first language and you could translate this text, please contact me.
Scroll down for recent reviews in english.

A Peripheral Blur (Kranky, 1998), with Mark Spybey (of Dead Voices On Air, e` un disco ispirato alla musica ciclica di Discreet Music (Brian Eno), specialmente in Jute Wheel. Il disco e` un piccolo capolavoro di "sound manipulation", nel quale le sorgenti sonore sono rese irriconoscibili dal trattamento in studio. Le cinque suite sono composte di toni preziosi, rumori spaziali, derive eteree di droni astratti. una tenue pulsazione tiene in vita le cartilagini di Vord Lae e Northern Sleight. Le subdole variazioni di Aluminum As A Medium battono Eno al suo stesso gioco.

Per il successivo Mosquito Dream (Kranky, 1999), che comprende altri sei lunghi brani, James Plotkin fa amicizia con Brent Gutzeit, uno degli animatori della scena d'avanguardia di Chicago, gia` titolare di Soul Music (Meme) e fondatore del progetto Tv Pow, che ha all'attivo Away Team (Boxmedia, 1997). Forse capita troppo poco nella lunga Halo, nell'iniziale Mosquito Dream, un drone che cresce e muta lentamente, e nella finale Mosquito Veil, che e` il complementare dela precedente. Il gioco si fa piu` interessante con i sovratoni in marcato movimento di Sand Scroll, rumori plastici e organici che si amalgamano in un magma viscoso di suoni, e con i timbri stridenti di Wires. L'oscura nebulosa di Cloud Cover, al limite della musica cosmica, lascia anche intravedere un elemento poetico. Plotkin e` un direttore d'orchestra che dirige suoni invece che musicisti.

The studio processing of sounds is even more extreme on Atomsmasher (Hydrahead, 2001), a collaboration with drummer Dave Witte and vocalist "Speedranch" that straddles the border between digital hardcore and hyper-psychedelic noise. Plotkin indulges in the most visceral kind of industrial music, updating the lingo to the superior tools of the computer age and to the frantic beats of post-drum'n'bass. The digital grindcore of Caught In Your Orbit erupts with drilling electronics, hyper-fibrillating drums and psychotic screams. An epileptic acceleration and alien noises devastate the rap music of Phantom Smasher. Very Much Want Head Return would be a garage-psychedelic freak-out if it weren't so twisted and looped around itself. These uncontrolled bursts of frenzy evoke a vision of jungles of high-tension electrical wires. The six-minute Skull Shot (the longest piece) projects the screams of a horde of demons against beats at superhuman speed. Pure terror emanates from Zanzibar's expressionist howling and tribal drumming. Psychedelic trance is ripped apart in Gilgamesh as drones and mantra-like vocals collide with furious drumming and sharp dissonances. There isn't much left to say after the wild noise collages of Thunderspit, Placebo and Someone Is Trying to Kill Me, have reduced music to its most primitive and depraved status. Everything is so dismembered and distorted that everything sounds like a virtuoso performance. The intensity is doubled by the crisp, "in your face" production. This is not soundsculpting: this is musical suicide.

Phantomsmasher (Ipecac, 2002) is the same trio playing the same convoluted king of post-everything music.
Tracks: Bishop Hopping, Anubis Innertube, Blackjack With Krakun, Scrolling Sideways, Halibut Jones, Digit Dirt, Slobtronic, The Pelvic Thrust, Zimbabwe.

Plotkin also plays in Khanate.

The six-track EP Trifid Project (Vacuum, 2001) is yet another collaboration, this time with (French) members of Celluloid Mata and Ultra Milkmaids, and another set of manically distorted dance music.

The Lotus Eaters were the trio of Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))), James Plotkin of Khanate and Aaron Turner of Isis. They released the double EP Alienist on a Pale Horse (Hydra Head, 2001), the six untitled tracks of Mind Control for Infants (Neurot, 2002) and the three lengthy jams of Wurmwulv (Troubleman Unlimited, 2007) of dark ambient music.

8 Improvisations (Archive, 2006) was a collaboration between James Plotkin and Khanate's drummer Tim Wyskida.

Plotkin's Kurtlanmak/ Damascus (Utech, 2006) built poetic soundscapes out of digitally processed guitars (and a few other instruments).

Khlyst was a collaboration between James Plotkin and Norwegian vocalist Runhild Gammelsaeter that yielded Chaos Is My Name (Hydra Head, 2006), sounding like a jazzier and more psychedelic version of Khanate.

James Plotkin's Indirmek (Utech, 2008) documents colossal live performances of digital collage. They work best as a manual of tricks for how to compose Plotkin-like music than as organic compositions.

Death Rattle (Rune Grammofon, 2013) documents improvisations with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami

What is unique about this music database