Boomkat Product Review:
Everyone who went out buying multiple copies of Slowdive, Ride and Chapterhouse albums seemed to end up making electronic music of some sort, at least that's what it feels like right now. Already this year we've had albums from Ulrich Schnauss and M83 and the whole nu-gaze thing was supposedly over, so it's surprising to see another drawing in from the mists, this time from electronic music veteran Marcus Schmickler's Pluramon project. With releases dating back from the mid 90s in the early days of Mille Plateaux, it was with his last album that Schmickler finally made the dent in the music scene we always knew he was capable of, and that was thanks in some part to his collaborations with a certain Julee Cruise. Yep, that would be the same Julee Cruise who made her name lending her smoky tones to David Lynch for the Twin Peaks soundtrack, and her vocals made Schmickler's 'Dreams Top Rock' album something of a milestone in the genre. 'The Monstrous Surplus' follows its predecessor perfectly and builds on its successes taking the crushed, dreamy indie-rock sound into places it has rarely been before. The album crashes into life with 'Turn in' and instantly we are once again in Schmickler's rich, melodic clutches with thick waves of guitar, reverberating compressed rhythms and those silken female vocals from none other than Julee Cruise. This is a match made in heaven, the perfect marriage of vocalist and producer and not since 1993's 'The Voice of Love' has Cruise sounded so at ease with the noises around her. Interestingly however 'The Monstrous Surplus' is the first time Schmickler himself has allowed himself room to sing, and on 'Border', the song's clear stand-out track it is Schmickler who makes the biggest impression as a vocalist. Backed up by German vocalist Julia Hummer (who appears on much of the rest of the album) his deep tones bring to mind classic 90s indie rock and don't sound forced or over-done, rather there is an innocence and purity which is hard to ignore. This is how the album succeeds over so many others in the genre, there's a sense that Schmickler has the desire to create pure dream pop music, and is slowly perfecting that art over his many albums. 'The Monstrous Surplus' has enough spine-tingling pop moments to keep you reaching for the repeat button again and again. An incredible selection of modern shoegaze music - don't miss it!