Artists & Title: Pluie/Noir – Year One Compilation
Format: 3x 12″ Vinyl
“There is certainly no shortage of independent record labels today, each promising to deliver their own unique brand dance music, but few truly stand out like Portugal’s Pluie/Noir. In a definitive first year it has released two exceptional EPs from Petre Inspirescu and Vlad Caia, endorsed numerous acclaimed Podcasts and served as the platform for various artistic endeavors. To commemorate this achievement, a hefty 12 track compilation spread across three 12”s will be released, showcasing the various sounds that personify the imprint.
The narrative to the compilation reflects Pluie/Noir’s minimalistic musical template. Each track is a concise exploration of house music’s skeleton, leaving nothing to waste but never feeling in slightest bit sterile. Neither is the compilation monotonous: at times it’s surprising and unpredictable, but in an organized, artistic manner. Three Angel’s ‘Hor-Ma’ (A1) progresses subtly, shaped by soft bumps and clicks. It’s welcoming, cleverly paving the way for the rest the compilation to interact. The now familiar Radiq follows with a typically eccentric addition, ‘Goodbye South Goodbye’ (A2). Characterised by its splintered hybridization microhouse and ambient techno, it’s certainly a head turner. Pluie/Noir founder Cleymoore contributes with ‘Starpauseflash’, a sleek and delicate number that uses looped keys and syncopated percussion to create something thought provoking. ‘New Way’ by Ztrl (B2) follows in this vein, the funky, tripped-out pattering of percussion and dreamy keynotes are spread out across a remarkably stripped-back rhythmic blueprint. Vlad Caia’s ‘Subject 238’ (C1) represents the taste of Romania that has been so inspirational to Pluie/Noir. It’s simple, clean and devastatingly effective. Diogo’s delightfully named ‘Insecuriosity’ (C1) is an impudent tapestry of sounds, rich with idiosyncratic sampling and impulsivity, reminiscent of early Perlon. This evocation is carried over to Dr. Nojoke’s alluring ‘Awrani’ (D1), which again exposes its very delicate compositional layers by draining everything from its low-end. It’s a divine afterhours groove that ripples and shakes in all the right places.
French-born, London-based Seuil changes gear with ‘Prelude’ (D2), which draws from the same diverse sonic palate as those before him on the compilation but works from a noticeably more solid 4/4 foundation. Albert Schwartz’s ‘11aa99’ (E1) introduces the compilation’s first use of vocals- the deep, soulful American lyrics work alchemically with the shuffling house beat. ‘An Apple Pie a Day’ by Andres Marcos (E2) is another percussive session, but the experimental Pluie/Noir touches keep the piece alive. The penultimate ‘White Steps’ by Levat (F1) is gorgeous slice of microhouse, lean and groovy, the vocal slivers adding a little Melchior to the mix, before the compilation closes with S.A.M’s ‘You’re Gonna Be Okay’ (F2), another outing of enigmatic, stripped-back house.
Elegantly presented in gatefold format, this highly collectable release reflects on a successful first year for Pluie/Noir while also signifying a very promising future. A canon of DJ delights on one hand, it’s also wonderfully applicable in the home setting, ensuring its practical longevity and status as a musical treasure for a long time to come.”