Pining back to an age of a golden generation of what festivals were ‘meant to be about’, the heart of musical experience will forever remain in what can be achieved through performing live. With careful regard to not cast aside the casual listener, Seattle’s take on hypnotic psychedelia The Black Planes have crafted a new angle on seducing the masses with cutting edge mesmerism through debut album ‘This is the Black Planes’.
After initial viewing of their new video for ‘Stone in Love’, their style is self-evidently nothing short of a transfixing Austin Powers scene transition. The album was recorded and mixed over a 10 month period, with the mixing and mastering completed by local legend Chris Hanzsek (producer of Soundgarden; Melvins and many others), co-founder of Reciprocal Recordings (home of most early Sub Pop acts, including Nirvana) alongside Jack Endino. The overall concept that inspired the conception of The Black Planes was derived from an aim for a darker, heavier sound than predeceasing concept Friction Pitch, as a more encompassing affair that’s meant to be appreciated as a whole.
The experience is one of echoing back to an era of 70s psychedelia, indulging the audience in a kind of mesmeric gawp at proceedings while simultaneously letting them blow you away. Guitarist Dan Gallagher harks back to his own experiences of seeing Moon Duo perform at The Sunset Tavern in Seattle and heavily hopes to replicate a similar kind of performance in doing so. Listening to the tracks it’s already easy to see the dim lit decadence of the venue being illuminated by twin graphic visualisers projecting the sound waves for multi-sensual appreciation.
Much of the journey is perpetuated by the bass guitar, which slides elegantly through repeated groove patterns. At times, the experience is sustained by the absence of essence, enhancing a sense of calmness, bordering on asphyxiation. This doesn’t last for long, however, as the self produced synth-sounds and delicate guitar permeate a life-giving breath and ambience which serves as a light giving halo circling the all-round easy going vocals.
Since here we’re embracing the Seattle sound, slip your slippers on and settle down to a Starbucks-laden White Russian.