Plus by SystemRelease date: November 9, 2018
Label: Morr Music
Danish electronic trio System (Thomas Knak, Anders Remmer & Jesper Skaaning) are one of those longstanding purveyors of all things electronic – from beats and clicks, to ambient and minimalist soundscapes that they have gathered a solid backing through years, particularly among fellow musicians. A lot of that is owed to their sense of experimentation akin to the long missing in action duo of Scottish wizards Boards of Canada.
One of those System fans is German composer/keyboardist Niels Frahm, so it is no wonder that the trio was up for the task of coming up with a collaboration project, which resulted in their latest album, Plus. It took them a good part of two years to produce the album, a lot of which had to do with the approach taken by the trio and Frahm.
The Danes recorded a sort of song drafts, based on Frahm expressing his liking of their early clicks’n’cuts period, took them to Frahm’s Berlin studio, where they added some 10 hours of Frahm playing piano and electronic keyboards. Getting back to Denmark, they decided to scrap the pre-recorded beats and go more into a more minimalist/cinematic direction.
What the listeners get in the end is that Boards Of Canada/Stars of The Lid/Labradford vision that borders ambient electronics/minimalist classics suited for a late night binge with pre-World War II silent expressionist movies. It doesn’t matter whether you start playing /Plus/ at the beginning, end or its middle, you got a sense of an almost endless, shifting musical loop, with Frahm’s keyboards coming in and out of System’s electronic bed, with an almost mesmerizing effect. Try, for example pitching ‘Minus’ or any of the compositions here for that matter to Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and see what effect you will achieve.
If you are still not sure what post-rock or any of those posts, post terms really are all about, try Plus it will all become a bit clearer. A bit.