I received this quite some time ago from Brigadisco so I’m intrigued to see that it has releases on four labels. Presumably this is some sort of distribution solution that is of interest only to music dorks like me. Anyway…onwards.
This is an album length EP of instrumental space rock that voyages between post-rock and experimental bleepy stuff, sometimes in the course of one song (“Cube”). Eschewing vocals for film samples (and other found spoken word stuff) Plasma Expander are also happy to go from something that sounds almost like stadium rock (check out the Edge like guitar effects on “Bombshell” and “Beacon”) to carefully managed feedback and space age synths, again all in one song. This might make it hard to pin down exactly what kind of band they are, but if you ignore the tags and genres and just listen to it it’s a pretty interesting ride. There seems to be something of a vogue for space rock / psychedelic rock at the moment and it’s hard to say whether Plasma Expander are fortuitously following the lead of others or setting the pace, because it’s pretty backward looking. I don’t mean in a negative sense just that this kind of music harks back to the heyday of bands like Can and even early Pink Floyd but with a little modern polish (possibly courtesy of James Plotkin (record master-er par excellence). I love both of those bands and I am partial to a little psychedelic rock (preferably at the weird end of the spectrum) and while I was initially a little skeptical of Plasma Expander the spiralling bassline of Beacon ends up pulling you in for a climactic and cataclysmic freak out finale. Between that and the brilliantly weird mid section of title track “Cube” (which descends into a very sci-fi Moog-scape of bleeps reminiscent of Acid Mothers Temple “Cosmic Funky Dolly”) I have found myself becoming more and more fond of this record. If any of the other bands name checked in this article are of interest to you then I would recommend a wander through this album.