[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
A saga of shapes, a dimensional directive cast in cunning electronic arrangement and forward-thinking aural implementation. This is also the first release of the newly-minted label run by Sevren Ni-Arb, Meshwork. Across the span of the five pieces which make up ‘Planisphere(s)’ we’re introduced to diverse elements of thought which are literally perceived by how many sides they contain; the perfect form is, naturally, a circle due to it having no beginning and no end. Perhaps it is the allure of such an impossibility which eventually introduces such rancor into what had previously been a well-ordered and immaculately logical society of geometric lifeforms who had no higher ideals in life beyond evolving into a more circuitous being.
It is not by accident that this plane of existence is referred to as The Flatland.
All of this changes, however, when those who make up this safe little world discover colors. They then begin to change from tranquil examples of purely mathematical design into avaricious, envious and vain beasts who incorporate as many shades into their sides as possible so as to stand out from the mundanes they obviously look down upon. Naturally, those in power introduce new laws outlawing this renegade form of expression much to the chagrin of those who had embraced it; a massive conflict breaks out and a new, ruthless form of “order” is established; our good friend the circle looks down upon all of this forlornly before deciding upon a new course of action which might raise everyone’s consciousness to a new vista.
The circle picks one square and reveals what had never been suspected to exist: a third dimension. Whilst briefly roaming the environs of this wildly unpredictable wonderland, the square has the realization that this knowledge must be shared with the others who are confined to the two-dimensional chessboard below. Predictably, the rest of the populace are happy in their complacency and ignore the square’s epistle and are thus doomed to repeat the cycle they have just been through without any hope of escape. Unquestionably there are parallels to be drawn with our modern world and here’s the lynch pin which makes ‘Planispeher(s)’ such an incredible album: it is the soundtrack to a story written by Edwin A Abbott in 1844 called ‘Flatland – A Romance of Many Dimensions’.
Signal Bruit’s music depicts each facet of this tale with care, meticulous attention to each and every detail comes through the sequences and blindingly precise programming; he exhibits a strong penchant for melodies but only to move the proceedings along, its as though they are the dialog spoken between various characters and we get to eavesdrop. Now some will hear what’s being done here and make comparisons to other venerable artists from the past who blazed the trail he treads upon. None of them even came close to the complexity and variance his material showcases, however.
From a technological standpoint it is easy to understand just why U-0176 has made this: curiosity. It is that need, once again, to push boundaries and see what is out there beyond what is known. The main irony of this album is that these days it is humanity, bored of our third dimensional reality who want to exist solely within the very Flatland Abbott warned of; how could he have predicted where we are now… Signal Bruit shed some light on this precarious balance we have achieved and once more reveal what is waiting should the message go unheeded.