De La Planet

MT 009LP MT 009LP

"I try to perform as honestly as possible" -- the soundbite borrowed from late dancer Dudley Williams for De La Planet's second track could have been uttered by The Mole himself. It's this candor that allows his listeners to bear witness to a very marked and very audible transition from his days as a producer in Montreal to becoming a part of the Berlin scene. And what is present here is one result of that very explicit sonic metamorphosis. De La Planet is The Mole's third studio album, one that stays true to his ethos of weird above all, in the best possible sense. And yet it feels like something distinctly new. Tapping his enormous reservoir of vinyl and sampling the odd film have acted as complement to the jaw-dropping arsenal of synthesizers at De La Planet's disposal -- a battery of machines he's been quietly improving his skills on during the past few years. Or not so quietly, perhaps. The man himself would probably say "I'm coming out of the woodshed", and go off on a tangent about Sonny Rollins and his saint of a wife. But that's a story for another sheet. While the days of Franco-Canadian dollar-record digging are behind him, this album is nothing if not quintessential Mole. And the opening "Harmony Day" lets you know you're in for a beautifully strange ride. But not without a dancefloor throwdown first -- by way of the symphony of pleas, bargains and one-line artist manifestos that is "Going With The Hat Man". From its own dizzying heights through to the sci-fi inflected thumps of "Braineater Returns", all the way to the earworm of a wonky cowbell in "He Frank", it's a charter through seldom explored lands. After "The Hat Man" gets the instrumental treatment, the album proceeds to "Sandwich Time Is Coming", which sounds like a sonic wink at the portrait of Prince presiding over Colin's turntables -- or is it the Klee illustration of a man expelling a smiling turd right next to it? "So What Don't You" has and inarguable thick percussive groove. The cinematic ambiance of "Soft Translation" and esoteric ripples of "River Highways" round out the trip, before "Time Out" sends you on our way with an early-aughties beat to march along to.