Pictureplane is one-man electronic artist Travis Edgey from Denver, Colorado. He gained fame last year with the remixes of “lost time” on noise-rockers Health’s remix album “Health//Disco” and of Crystal Castle’s “Air War.” Last year also saw the very,very independent release of his debut Turquoise Trail. To sum up Pictureplane’s sound as underground electronic dance music would be misleading, and to attempt to explain the experience that is “Turquoise Trail” leaves much to be desired.
With Edgey’s ghostly crooning in the background, synths rip open and quickly flare up on the album opener “The Turquoise Trail,” which barely makes it over two minutes. The vocals can barely be made out on most songs, making Edgey’s mouth just another element of the crazy, cracked-out dance tracks on Turquoise Trail that weave together seamlessly but pop in with unexpected beats. For instance, on “Wearing a Nothing Cloak,” a pulsing drumbeat partnered with an instrumental that sounds like the baby of a saxophone and a tuba prepares the listener for a darker beat. But as soon as such an assumption is made, the intro gets pierced by a much lighter sounding synth that eventually takes over.
Every song on Turquoise Trail is unique, and also makes one reminisce of sounds produced by other artists occasionally, while still maintaining its own identity. For instance, “Temporary Infinity” begins with light, Daft Punk-esque jagged synths that burst into a trancey dance banger. It’s a shift that is quick, but fluid.
My favorite track on Turqoise Trail at the moment, is “Tha Dark Lord/Warp to Level8.” It begins with some heavy, glitchy, dark synths that open to some slow, heavy-hitting snares. It’s a track full of all the intensity and bang one could ever desire in a minute and a half.
Every track on Turqoise Trail has something to keep the listener entertained and occupied. With about 200% more influences on sound than world music, Pictureplane has a killer debut album that is an excellent starting block for so much more incredible music. I would say it was the best six dollars by mail I have ever s(p)ent.