Plike is the music project of producer and composer, Mad Madam Em. De Anima is the eighth album by Plike, released August 15, 2019. The album consists of eight songs that feature exquisite vocals in the form of lyrics and arias within dark electronic dance tracks. Some songs have a slower tempo that would suit an intimate dance, and the more upbeat tracks would definitely fit well on a dance floor. Every track on the album is deeply moving for me, as it tapped into many emotional experiences I’ve had.
The album opens up with Jericho. It has soft, dreamy vocals with a strong beat. The music features pianos and synths, combined with an industrial style soundscape. The words of the song stimulate my imagination, and I think this is a great song for dancing by yourself or with a partner. An instant favourite that is unlike anything I’ve heard before.
The Banished has a powerful intro with menacing laughter and an accusation, leading into beautiful vocals full of longing. The dark synths and strong beat are excellent for the dance floor. The continued laughter throughout the song is like mocking the broken cries in the lyrics, creating a sinister feeling. This is my personal favourite because the song draws out feelings of empathy, and reminds me of some very dark times where I used music and dance to get through unbearable things. I think this song will be particularly healing for many listeners.
The third song is Strange Melancholy. Beautiful piano notes blended with dreamy vocals, and a powerful, dark rhythm makes it another great dance track. The industrial influence on this song creates a truly unique sound. The lyrics and vocals are very uplifting in the way that “I’ll be fine” is repeated like a mantra or a promise to the self.
Metanoia has a strong, heavy beat from the start, and a slower tempo. The lyrics are bluesy in the first half of the song, which enhances the more powerful vocals in the chorus. Industrial elements are less pronounced in this song, but really come into play in the second half, before the piano melody takes the lead again near the end of the song. This is an incredibly soothing and inspiring song that encourages honest introspection, release of guilty feelings, and forgiveness from yourself.
Next up is The Maiden Wound, with a soft intro that leads into a dark, industrial song. The airy vocals accompany the strong bass and beat, and are not the main element of the song. The beat and instrumentation are the driving force of the track. The song grows darker sounding as it progresses, and it is a fantastic dance song, in my opinion.
Subliminal has an ominous intro with distorted voice samples that really sets the mood for the track. It has a slower tempo, with a strong beat and wispy vocals. The music is like and orchestral melody wrapped up in an electronic dance song.
The Shadow Effect has incredible percussion and deep voice samples, with soft vocals sprinkled throughout this industrial style track. This is the darkest and most disconcerting sounding track in the album. I enjoyed the tension it inspired in me, while the vocals were soothing enough to to draw me deeper into the music.
Syzygy feat. The Fair Attempts is the final track on the album. This one is difficult for me to review while trying to be unbiased, due to the collaboration with The Fair Attempts. In the past, I got around this by not commenting on what he contributed, but this time his contribution is too significant to overlook or side-step. I remember listening to his piano and choir composition while he worked on it, and it reminds me of cozy winter afternoons. Plike then breathed new life into it with incredible bass, drums and haunting vocals. When I heard the finished song, it honestly blew my mind. This collaboration turned out even better than I had hoped, and I am personally very proud of them for creating this outstanding track.
With my reviews, I always strive to point out at least one thing that could be improved upon, so the artist can benefit from the review beyond receiving encouraging praise. I was unable to find anything that felt unnatural to me as I listened, or something that could’ve been somehow better. Perhaps it is a lack of exposure to similar music, although I’m not sure there is any music like it. The sound is entirely unique to me. I highly recommend that you save De Anima to your library on Spotify, or purchase the album for your personal collection from Bandcamp.
Review written by:
August 25, 2019