Straight Road, Twisted Plot

It was a rather boring, uneventful afternoon in the middle of a busy Monday when I decided to sit down and give this EP called ‘Hive Plot’ a listen. Released about three months ago by an electronic music artist called One Sock/ Placebo, it is a collection of tunes that seem to shift in and out of several different moods.

My first impressions of the record was that of fascination and general curiosity. Initially, I was skeptical about approaching the album and giving it a listen. Looking at the number of releases the past year, its not hard to see why.

Going back to the topic of the album, while the album has its share of magnificent moments and great production, I couldn’t help feeling that the production values of the complete album as a whole could have been more even. You can hear a lot of bells and acoustic elements in the songs. While some tracks like ‘adcazer’ and ‘naurra’ shift into ambient music territory with drones and evolving pads that keep changing throughout the song, there are others that are completely in-your-face and have an impact on you from the start.

Clearly, we are looking at an artist that does not strive to stay inside a single box in terms of sonic sensibilities and artistic vision but likes to experiment with all kinds of sounds. While some of us like to paint one definite picture, others prefer to paint several different ones that all relate in some way. The album seems to start out quite focused, but travels to a different space altogether by the time we reach the end. You cannot help feeling that somewhere around the middle of the album, there is a shift of musical sensibilities.

Artwork for ‘Hive Plot’

For me, Associationville is the true zenith point of the album. It gets straight to the point and gives you what you need, a glitch-infused track full of electronic grooves pulsing around an almost-sparse beat. One thing you realize listening through the album is the fact that One Sock/ Placebo does not shy away from using a absolutely bare-bones arrangement in a lot of places throughout the album, something that most artists are afraid to do these days. Go minimal.

While most of the tracks on the album are quite the breeze to listen to, repeated listens do tend to suck the suspense out of the music. ‘Superconscious Waffles’ seems to have an unusually long buildup time and ‘Naurra’ seemed to have a rather underwhelming ending.

The entire album is peppered with interesting drums and percussive programming is clever. There are times when you discover new things on repeated listening owing to the large general sense of space on the record with a lot of elements panned all around.

All in all, One Sock/ Placebo has managed to put together a debut EP worth a listen. It’s selling point is the fact that most of the tracks on it are unique and paint a picture full of interesting sounds. The downer is, it seems like One Sock Placebo is still evolving and trying to carve out a distinct sonic space for itself. While some tracks are interesting, there is still a lot more potential to be unlocked.

8eight8 Rating – 7/10

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