The debut album of People Press Play is eponymously and aptly titled due to the music that plays out on it. The songs are a series of loops orchestrated by the four band members, each loop self-perpetuating, propagating and folding into all of the others to create a malleable manifold of music that mingles and co-mingles with every bit of its constituent parts, exploring every musical possibility. It seems a vastly different experience from that of people pounding on instruments. This music instead seems to be much less deliberate, not as much force needed to coax notes out of guitars and woodwinds, but rather is an incidental structure of sounds with no force asserting its existence through the music other than a fleeting force of chance. The songs create themselves, it seems, while the people behind music simply start each loop of each song by press of a play, not the pound of a drum.
Given that each song exists by means of its own chance of existing, not requiring some motive force, some libidinal life drive to push it through every bar of music, the dynamics of the songs are much less lively, instead lightly spirited, passing through my ears with only slight consequence, noticing the changes in emphasis, the coincidence of amplifications, and subsequently let them pass without any hubbub stirred about inside me. The music isn’t haunting, nor ghastly ethereal. It’s just a simple spirit, making little charge upon me, of little consequence, just a bit of play.
Despite the computerized and electronic bits and pieces used to build each song, People Press Play easily breaks away from any mechanical notions that might arise when dealing with loops structured songs, but has no problem reveling in such notions either. Several songs start with strong beats like an assembly line, while others start on a much less firm of a base, not relying on such a hard, automated sense of cause and effect, but in a sense, causes itself, bounding from its own ambiguous soundscape and building from that base as it gets lost in its own structure.
Finally, one of the tenets in People Press Play seems to be a fairly constant rhythm that persists throughout the entire album. It is very easy, nice and easy, and if there is any motive force behind this music, it could be this very easy, nicely innocuous rhythm that is hard to exactly identify, still harder to exemplify, but nonetheless seems fitting enough when spoken of in apostrophe.
People play and people press play on People Press Play.
The Notwist – Neon Golden
Múm – Summer Make Good
Lali Puna – Faking the Books