Grand Delusions Album By Plutonic Dust – Review
Dublin’s Plutonic Dust have been namechecked by all the right people over the last twelve months but crucially they have backed up that buzz with impressive live performances, last year’s Electric Picnic being one such show that had this writer positively purring. Their debut album Grand Delusions drops on 9 April and was recorded in Temple Lane Studios with the help of James Darkin (The Mighty Stef, Wounds).
Opening track ‘Hoops’ begins with a menacing bassline which is soon smothered by sweeping slabs of synth and beats in thrall to 90s rave. ‘Losing Control’ is a much icier affair. The keys echo Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’ and Veronica Moran’s spoken word delivery lends the track an eerie feel, one which might have manifested itself on the dancefloor of a GDR nightclub.
This air of cool detachment continues on ‘Kill For Gold’, the vocal reminiscent of ‘Fade To Grey”s middle section, and the nocturnal atmosphere created not dissimilar to the Drive OST. Fans of Chromatics will fall in love with this track. It brings Chic-esque guitar into the mix just as Moran breaks from her trademark hush to stretch her pipes singing ‘we drive these streets from midnight’. Love those night drives.
‘Sugar Honey’ is the perfect example of what Plutonic Dust excel at – marrying contradictions. Analogue synthesizers meet funk guitar and soulful melodies trade off against haunting whispers. The result is electrogothic pop you can dance to. In Studio 54 without the flares. Such contrast is lacking on ‘Body Talk’, for me the weakest track on the record, suffering as it does from the lack of dynamics and layers that enhance the other songs.
I love this album. It’s a real night-time dance record. I was reminded of Holy Ghost, Glass Candy and Moroder and, at times, I felt like I was transported to 1980s Berlin, such was the mysterious, cool feeling I got from listening to these songs. Most tracks are blessed with textures capable of breathing beyond their relatively short running time but only the aforementioned ‘Sugar Honey’ exceeds five minutes. One feels that there is plenty of scope for expansion with these songs, certainly in a live setting if not in the confines of the studio.
In Grand Delusions, Plutonic Dust have one of the best Irish releases so far of 2016 and launch their debut album in The Sugar Club on Saturday, 9 April.