After making a first appearance on Ploink, Stian Balducci made a formidable impression on the world as his +plattform alias in the world of Techno. His dubby brand of electronica, anchored in the dystopian world of an industrialised music, features the sinister qualities of Germany without disenfranchising his audience. Balducci’s music as +plattform is purist Techno without relying merely on harsh a-tonal noise, bulldozing its way through the musical progression, and that is exactly what we find again with his debut EP on his newly established label, Gråtone.
tm22 is a three track Techno thriller that relies on improvising around repetition to bring something unique to the world of Techno. +plattform’s sound centres around a consistent a wave of organic accents and cressendoes that never really resolve but only roll by the listener. It is most effectively experienced on the title track, where there’s hardly ever any hint of something being rushed through its progression – allowing the tracks to gestate naturally within the listener, and encourages movement on the dance floor without ever forcing it. +plattform dwells in a minimalist aesthetic where atmosphere appears naturally and differs from his Norwegian peers in favour of something closer to the sound of Berlin, without ever falling into obvious white noise or drones. The 4/4 kick might be prominent on a track like Overcome, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of the track with the beat pulling everything together, but rather more organic in appearance with a 303 bass line and a sweet melodic refrain pulling the listener’s attention to different parts in the track. It’s 130 BPM Techno with the subtlety of an ambient track, and although it’s been done before, Balducci certainly brings it into our modern age.
There’s nothing whimsical about the way +plattform achieves this however, and the DNA of the tracks are squarely routed in the club with a model built on Techno and if you ever needed proof of it, Mandelbrot which closes off the A-side couldn’t stand as a better testament. It’s here where I discover much of the appeal of +platfform’s music, which I first encountered in the form of a live show. There’s an uncompromising energy to the track that simulates the idea of a live performance as it trails off into little more than white noise and a beat at the end, but still maintains that level of control that steers it away from the crassness of industrialised Techno. There’s a continuous tidal shift through the track that negates much of the rigidity of Techno in favour of something far more organic, and perhaps even human. It is H.R. Geiger’s works come to live through music if such an analogy could exist and this is true of the entire EP and in fact +plattform’s music throughout with tm22 solidifying this sentiment.