Premiere: Plankton Wat, "Spirits"

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An easy read bears mysterious fruits.

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March 22, 2012

When you watch this video, above, you won't see any people, but only proof of their existence. There are doors that people have walked through, and arbors they have carved into hedges. There is a rabbit, but he is caged. There is a plant bearing a mysterious fruit with no fruit, and if I didn't know that this video was probably filmed in the US, I would guess that the fruit is the Ecuadorean tree tomato, but that can't be right. "Spirits" is an easy read: we are supposed to think about what has passed through these spaces before we look on them with the unflinching camera's eye, but it is also fully acknowledged that we can never really know for sure. In the end, vocals come in to the song's wandering guitar melody, and the sun sets in our filmic travels, and although we never know if this was meant in a sinister way or not, we are being tucked into bed and told to silently wonder.

Plankton Wat is the project of Eternal Tapestry's Dewey Mahood, and Thrill Jockey is releasing his new record, the second full length. "Spirits", the title track, starts out over a metronomic tick, and then grows in density as guitar, drones, bongoes, and eventually vocals are added. (An approved use of bongos!) But the guitar is the real centerpiece here. It weaves its own thick fabric, blanketing everything in wide, fat notes that take their time with the repeating melody. You can see Plankton Wat in Seattle at this year's Debacle Festival.

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