Francis Plagne – Udge LP
Melbourne-based Francis Plagne returns to Horn of Plenty with possibly his strongest statement to date, Udge.
Since his appearance on the Australian scene in the early 2000’s Francis has pursued a unique trajectory, bridging left-field song-craft, experimental electronic composition and improvisation. In addition to solo works issued by Black Truffle, Penultimate Press, and his own Mould Museum imprint, he has worked in various collaborations with Andrew Chalk, crys cole, James Rushford, and Joe Talia. Defining the entirety of his output is the pursuit of radical autonomy, sculpting musical gestures, spanning numerous idioms, which take nothing for granted and manage, in each iteration, to declare their own territory and terms while acknowledging their place within a long continuum of musical practice.
Udge takes us further along the path carved out on the Rural Objects LP. Employing a similar palette of sounds, including that wild guitar synth, and a cameo from Joe Talia on drums. The record takes the form of two untitled side-long suites built from a series of portastudio jams and miniatures. Played against bristling passages of acoustic and electronic textures, fragments of melody and rhythm thread their way across the album’s length only to be broken and undermined by interventions into the tape onto which they were laid. Similar to Teo Macero’s electric Miles tape treatments or John Oswald’s restitching of The Grateful Dead, Udge is a deceptive work of musique concrète that sits adjacent to some of the more singular prog / RIO records by Nascita della Sfera, Albergo Intergalattico Spaziale, Roberts Owen, and Look de Bouk.