Plaistow – “Phoebe” Playthrough

Today’s drum cover is from a group called Plaistow(listen to them here) , a jazz (or is it?) trio, but not in any sense you have probably ever heard. Their sound is a uniquely processed blend of minimalism and ambiance steeped in the cool, moody and modal sounds of jazz that take no interest in any set of normalized rhythms. It’s a group whose notes are held together by the certain truths like quality over quantity. An idea, though abstract here,  that is more relevant and profoundly resonate than ever before in our culture of things. Dizzying and deceptively simple. The band seems more interested in putting the listener into a deep trance than digging deep into melodies. And they’re certainly in no hurry to get from one set of ideas to the next, as a lot of the songs take their time to transform, like taking the scenic roads instead of the highway. But even in their slower tempos and more simply defined melodies the band manages to be anything but benign. You’re more likely to hear them play with shifting, interlocking rhythms. In Phoebe, the only “lead” the piano takes in the second half of the song is a turn into a 5/16 ostinato played on top of the bass and drums tightly sealed into a 9/8 groove. The result is a strange carousel that makes the otherwise unbudging current feel topsy-turvy and fragile,  like in any moment the thin thread holding the intersecting limbs together could split, leaving it all in pieces. But it never does.

All in all Plaistow is a strange geometry, definitely worth a listen or few, and unlike a lot of other stripped down experimental breeds out there right now.

That was a lot of text to try and convince you this band is cool and you should listen to their stuff. Of course it’s not one of the 25 songs the NY Times says will be the songs of our future, but then again, Plaistow is one of the bands whose songs are less about shanty politics than inventiveness assembled from familiar materials.


Enough of that, here’s some drums.

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