Taking reference from the rave energy that has passed through decades of UK dance music and combining influences from harder, noisy, industrial tropes that carry a similar raw approach, Ploy (Timedance, Hessle) delivers his debut LP "Unlit Signals" for L.I.E.S. Records.
Across these eight tracks we move through contained intensity and stifling darkness met with flashes of light and space, reflective of the darker pockets of the grubby dance floors of which this record is aimed at.
This body of work represents the space Ploy has found himself occupying over the past couple of years, an injection of disheveled closing hours delirium, applied across a spectrum of bpm.
Rhythmically taking influence from elements of broken beats, soundsystem music and organic percussion as opposed to a straighter Techno template, 'Unlit Signals' captures the visceral energy that is much needed and often missing in genres at the forefront of the dance music world.
Moreso this LP is reflective of the grim state of current social climates, and the artist's experiences looking for the darker, introspective ends when hitting the nightclubs. Heads down as opposed to hands up, Unlit Signals puts forth an ominous sonic dread that works the system with texture, low end and militant drum play.
Similar to previous Ploy releases it's nomadic in terms of styles and never really slots into one category easily, which ends up being the true beauty of "Unlit Signals".
Rush Hour Store Record of the week W45
UK post-bass producer Ploy pours his dark soul out on his intensely captivating debut album for L.I.E.S.
Here’s a record we were exceptionally curious about since it was first announced early this year: the debut album by UK technoid post-bass don Ploy of Hessle Audio and Timedance fame for NYC’s tough guy corporation L.I.E.S. After all it’s quite a long way from the grimey streets of South-London to the seedy sewers of New York - sonically speaking, we mean.
First issued as a cassette-only release in early summer, ‘Unlit Signals’ is one of this year’s biggest musical surprises. It’s a dark and dense album that sounds like a spooky nighttime ride on a deserted neon-lit rollercoaster somewhere at the edge of the world.
The ominous opener ‘Gulch’ sets the whole thing in motion with a doomy prepared piano emerging from a sinister half sunken soundscape that leads to the intense beating that is ‘Clubtek’, with militant percussion beating on top of a desolate post-industrial setting. ‘Dog Ants’ is next, a ritualistic, menacing bass exercition rotating like an ancient dervish.
‘Pax Cultura’ is another shocker - a slow and low post-dancehall riddim overridden by frantic marching band percussion - another unexpected combination that works wonderfully well. It leads up to the sample-heavy highly explosive breakbeat monster that is ‘Molotov’.
‘Busy’ is another mindbender, starting out as a modern-day b-boy anthem before slowly morphing into something of a sonic nightmare leading up to the ultra heavy ‘Keys in the Dark’. There’s no letting up on the doom and gloom here and that’s definitely a good thing. ‘Unlit Signal’ is another strong contender for the title of Record of the Year ((by Rogier Oostlander)