Warm – WARM#005 – 10th October 2016
‘Our music is always created by the sedimentations of improvisations followed by a search for harmony – or even the erotic – between the layers of sound, voice and lyrics,’ they say. ‘We realise that to many ears we sound “experimental”, but we still consider our work o be a kind of chanson française.’ Ply is Mathias Deplanque and Guillame Ollendorff, artists with careers in their own right, drawn together after noted parallels between the albums they each released in 2001 provided a certain intersection which was cemented when they met in Berlin in 2011. Sans Cesse is the result of three years of work, which developed through a recording session with drummer Pierre Bougle, various setups of guitars recorded by Delplanque and a leisurely editing process slotting in the lyrics penned by Ollendorff and appropriated from a wide range of courses.
The album’s five tracks are mastered as two sides of vinyl, which bleed into one another and take the form of extended experimental passages built on long, low drones which gradually shift and evolve. The spoken word narratives are delivered in short declarations and in a smooth monotone. Sporadic percussion and quite swells of cymbal punctuate the turning trills of sculpted feedback, before a heavy bass note buzzes though crashing percussion, driving side one to a grinding crescendo: rock music dragged to a glacial crawl.
Side two escalates the tension: the title track begins hushed and ominous, ruptured by feedback and vocal effects before building through ‘Vers’ and ‘Lament’ to a dense rumble of dark, low-frequency guitar drone.
It’s this sense of progression, structure and linearity which evidences the consideration which has gone into Sans Cesse, and which shifts it into a bracket outside the purely experimental field. It’s clear that experimentalism and random elements were integral parts of the creative process, but it’s equally clear that the construction of Sans Cesse occurred post-recording. This is not a document of some spontaneous happenings committed to tape in the raw, but the product of considered and painstaking work and post-facto manipulation and reconfiguring. This is a work where order supersedes the random, where the chance occurrences which may have been part of the initial process have been assimilated and reconfigured for specific purposes.