“The problems and benefits of Polymers felt like good themes for this album, their repetitious strength, endurance and troubling persistence, the natural versus the synthetic, silk and silicone, the significant effect they have on our lives.”
The opening machinic grind of ‘Meds Fade’ conveys the fading effects of medication and the emerging clarity of the grey envelopes of reality. With the ever rising techno tension of ‘Maru’ we feel the final, exhausting push to reach a goal.
In turn, ‘Dancers’ is blissfully euphoric: an ode to free movement for free movement’s sake, inspired by seeing meteor showers, the milky way on a clear dark night and people dancing in an audience. Snippets of voices lend a human element, albeit twisted by machines: ‘Ops’ loops a wordless refrain with synthetic echoes over D&B rhythms.
‘Drowned Sea’ was directly inspired by finding decades old plastic packaging washed up on the coastline and reading about microplastics in the food chain. Like particles of plastic, Plaid distilled sounds through granular synths, reducing the whole but unable to completely destroy it.
Closing track ‘Praze’ – an old word for meadow – relates to the disappearance of most of Britain’s wildflower meadows. The out-of-times, Penguin Cafe Orchestra-esque plucked melodies feel like a final melancholic reminder that, despite the complexities of life in 2019, hope still remains.