Boomkat Product Review:
Andrew Hargreaves (The Boats, Tape Loop Orchestra) presents his striking first works for dance with Pose Plastique; an unrequited musique concrète score to choreography by Belgian dancer Anaïs Ureel. Hugely recommended if you’re into anything from Tony Conrad to Demdike Stare, GRM or Emptyset.
Pushing himself beyond his usual comfort zones, and using a kinetograph score of movements which was effectively illegible to him, the results of Pose Plastique reveal a keen sensitivity towards supple and super spacious sound design, eschewing any sort of ‘incessant pounding’, as he initially feared he was supposed to, in favour of a series of diffused rhythmic triggers and physical gestures that mirror elements of Ostgut Ton’s Masse works for dance as much as Jeff Mills’ most abstract techno navigations and the plonging, weightless meters of Bernard Parmegiani’s seminal GRM works.
As these things go, the commission never fully manifested. Anaïs ended up disenchanted by dance (not due to Andrew’s music, we might add!) and eventually moved to New Zealand. Fast forward a few years and Andrew made the decision to edit the recordings for this extended release, simultaneously offering encrypted instructions for movement to any willing bodies, while its free-floating sequence of rhythmic and tonal structures act as a hugely absorbing listen in their own right.
It’s perhaps testament to Andrew’s gifted, mutable compositional skills and musical vision that Pose Plastique works in its own right, he’s clearly attuned to the integral connection between living bodies and machines, and the way they’ve become conditioned by electronics ever since the explosion of avant-garde electronic music in the ‘60s, to the impulses of disco and new wave, and its contemporary application.
Gorgeous, absorbing music.