Endlessly creative experimental electronic music duo No Plexus push new sonic and conceptual boundaries with their stunning debut album Rite of Passage, out 6th October on The Platform Records.
Best listened to from beginning to end, Rite of Passage is a concept album – or “experimental electronic pop opera” in the duo’s own words – about the millennial experience. “Most of us are deeply anxious, addicted to technology, and feel an overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness regarding the future”, No Plexus says.
“However, we’re also the first generation that grew up with the internet as children”, the duo adds. “Millennials have a habit of balancing the toxic elements of internet hyper-connectivity with humour that is laden with sarcasm, irony and absurdism.”
Rite of Passage combines all of these toxic elements and dualities into twelve tracks of avant grade brilliance, with the music more than matching the inventiveness of the concept. Album opener ‘Butterfly’ comes roaring out of the gate with a jarring juxtaposition of distorted vocals and sublime melodies, before ‘Dance’ pares back the duo’s sound with a delicate ballad over moving piano. ‘Observation’ is a beguiling blend of bubblegum pop, industrial synthwave and dubstep, while ‘Enough’ takes aim at burn-out work culture with angry, hard-hitting beats and gurgling industrial synths.
Built around layered acapella recordings of singer Bec Plexus’s voice, album centrepiece ‘May Be’ is both hauntingly sparse and incredibly intricate in arrangement. As the vocals start to morph and mutate menacingly, building into a synthetic symphony, the song’s repeated central hook – “no matter how, they may be right maybe” – shifts in meaning and perspective.
Moving into the back stretch, the three-part odyssey ‘Rollercoaster’ takes the listener on a sonically restless ride through millennial anxieties, ending in a doom-laden dronescape. Album closer ‘Maybe’ ends on a delicate note, cleansing the palate after the experimental opus that came before – although not without apocalyptic lyrics that hammer the album’s hard-hitting message home.
No Plexus is a genre-queer experimental electronic music duo consisting of artists No Compliments and Bec Plexus. Their concept-driven approach to music is the result of both artists’ background in contemporary classical music fusing with a shared affinity for electronic music. Live sets from No Plexus combine raw and physical vocal performances, anchored by densely detailed drum programming and ever-evolving sound and visual design. A natural extension of their ceaseless creativity is the fact that No Plexus were chosen to be Rewire’s Young Artist in Residence for 2023 and 2024.
It’s easy to see why, too: while the duo’s DJ sets fuse hyperpop and industrial with their own remixes and edits, their immersive live shows are equally technologically-advanced, future-facing and genre-defying. Having worked with Emmanuel Biard (Evian Christ, Koreless, Lotic), their performances feature holographic display systems, extensive light programming and live-video feeds from webcams with AI-assisted facial-tracking technology.
A multi-layered, futuristic work, Rite of Passage is an astonishing listening experience of the conceptually brilliant and sonically adventurous genius world of No Plexus.
21st October – Zemlika Festival (Latvia)
18th November – Le Lieu Unique (Nantes, FR)
16th December – Album release & double bill with fashion label The Nightmare Disorder, hosted by The Platform (Amsterdam, ND)
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