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By Guest blue tapes
BLUE FOURTEEN: HENRY PLOTNICK
C70 + download
Playful, meditative, painless. The stacks of entwining loops that comprise Henry Plotnick’s music are so colourful and vibrant that they become visual - you picture them as perfect circles of dots, dashes and hues rotating, multiplying, blinking in and out.
This isn’t music that you have to think hard about to find enjoyable. Its appeal is as universal as sunshine and crushed ice. Though these six pieces can build into dense patterns of information - only to be stripped right back to the bare ticks, tocks and pulses - they’re never overloading or difficult to compute.
Rather, Henry’s music is soothing sound for people who require too-many sounds to be able to relax: sonic Ritalin.
Though highly intuitive, this music isn’t unsophisticated though - on Kinetic Point, the layered, gibbering, near-call-and-response piano motifs coalesce into something no less than Philip Glass. You may also consider the soul-cleansing patterns of Terry Riley to be a touchstone - though fun, beats-popping tracks like Wapiti prove Plotnick to be an ambient pop writer, if anything.
Right now, his compositions are constructed with the most basic equipment - a keyboard and a loop pedal. They sound pretty great now, but just imagine when Blue Tapes has the finances to get orchestras performing Henry’s stuff! In surround sound. How awesome would that be?
Very awesome. But there’s plenty of time for that. Right now, his synthesiser loop-sketches are the perfect introduction to what is going to be an extraordinary career. Henry Plotnick is 13 years old.
Praise for blue fourteen:
"'Mechanolatry' amasses layer uopn layer of snapping, plucking, yearning synthetic string sound, slowly introducing each element into a hypnotic atonal soundscape, exploring the realm of beautiful chaos as successfully as Terry Riley did on In C... He's uninhibited, optimistic and courageous, unworryingly tapping away at his keys, exploring with wide-eyed joy, and almost audibly punching the air when every new layer of sound works out. This kid's undoubtedly got innate musical ability, but his true strength lies in his patience as a spontaneous composer, something which eludes many adults, and which lends his improvisations a gradually growing allure that would make them a killer listen, even in older hands." - The Quietus
"The most original new voice in minimalist composing." - Wondering Sound
"It’s great avant-garde music, great synth pop, great dance music, and great classical music. Heck, it’s even got some terrific jazz. blue fourteen definitely offers a different shade of blue – and Henry Plotnick continues to astound." - Stereo Embers