While it hailed rave reviews and steep discogs prices, the first release on Berlin’s freshly-minted Acting Press label was not to everyone’s tastes. That 12”, courtesy of a collective known as CC Not, toyed with what we expect from dance music yet for us seemed as difficult and cerebral, a demanding proposition from the EP format.
One of CC Not’s constituents, PLO Man, has stepped out solo for the label’s second offering, and the music is far more inviting. Stations Of The Elevated doesn’t break any stark new ground: it quite closely references a quasi-spiritual period of early 90s house, dealing in meditative home trips composed of breakbeats and pads that stretch on for days.
While PLO Man’s core sounds may not be daring in their nature, here they are elegantly assembled and draw the listener in through structure as much as texture. First cut Rare Plastic throws its danciest shapes early on, as a catchy synth line entwines with wheeling breaks, but then as the energy dies down we the track’s only half done, giving onto a hypnotic four minutes trading rough-edged drums with icy ambience.
Nearly Invisible takes root with a soft test-tone, like a gentle alarm that proceeds to bind seven minutes of whirring ambience and woody rhythms. It’s an appealing slice of sound design but it’s thirteen-minute closer Type Damascus that proves the release’s most hypnotic work. Here is a real sound voyage, aqueous pads sifting like clouds over a gloriously slow build of dusted breaks, metallic clanks and swandiving sub-bass rattles. It ends, again, with three minutes of glassy ambience so entrancing that you’ll wait for it to completely fade away before you flip the record over to start again.