Music

Become worldly and give minimalist virtuso Planéte a listen

Earth. Mars. Jupiter. Neptune. Pluto. These are all planets you have heard of – well, except for Pluto, seeing as the Global Space Organisation (whatever) decided Pluto wasn’t for realsies anymore. Well there’s one more planet to learn about today. Come on over son, come sit on my lap as I tell you about Planéte*.

dion 3

Feeling a bit too square? Listen to Planéte and become round and wholesome again. Dion Tartaglione’s minimalist techno is out of this world.

Much like Earth, Planéte is a minimalist techno solo project emanating from what I can only assume is Dion Tartaglione’s bedroom. The Melbourne native flexes his biceps and cracks his knuckles only to lay down tracks of subtle popping bubbles and clanging bits of iron that float and linger but never stray.

So far, Planéte has brought out about eight original tracks, along with a handful of remixes. Right now though, only the last four of his original releases, which range back to mid-2014, will be discussed.

Only a few days ago, did Planéte put out a double-track release that contained songs named Helix and Två Fontäner, which I’m guessing is “Two Fountains” in Swedish. The other two tunes will be Snow Sketch and Visions.

I have one criticism, and I am aware it is a bit out of place to begin with the one criticism one has, but it conveniently brings all these tracks together. (I’ve got good things to say, but that’s more or less on a track-by-track basis.)

In all of these selected the tracks bobble along, slowly adding layers until reaching a peak, taking a break, and then gunning for the secondary, bigger apex which is always reached in between two-thirds and three-quarters of the song, then taping back down to it’s beginning. I could graph it if you want, but I imagine the audience for a music site would turn off as soon as they saw anything remotely mathematical.

So, in Helix we begin with chiming bells that mask a subtle and positive flashing beat that pulls the song along for the length of its nine-minute length. That flashing beat is abetted by a xylophone-like layer that sounds like droplets splashing into a pond full of koi, and backing track of shrouded booms of a digital tuba. After reaching its zenith, it soon returns to the chiming bells that introduced the song after all the layers have been stripped away.

Två Fontäner has approximately the same structure as Helix. However, it is more forceful, the booms of the same digital tuba and the snare being more forthright. The booming tuba is admittedly quite alluring on this track; its hook surreptitiously pounces at you.

Snow Sketch and Visions, also form a two-track release like the two songs above, and share many similarities. Both songs, though are rather quieter than either Helix or Två Fontäner and have a steelier mood – just by looking at their spectral graphs you can see how tightly wrapped these later two songs released six ago are in comparison to their younger siblings.

Amusingly, both Snow Sketch and Visions feature rolling melodies that sound like they’re being keyed into a notepad. However, that doesn’t matter a jot. Every song of his slowly boils along, progressing at the minimal speed with a lazy excellence that characterises the very best of atmospheric music. Being the good fan of ambience and minimalist music that I am, Planéte ticks all the right boxes for me. One could favourably compare him to being the link between DJ Koze and Thomas Köner. If you’re not a fan of minimalist music, try out Planéte’s soundcloud – it might turn out that you’re just not a fan yet.

*Ed. Creepy fucker.

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