Live preview: Pictureplane

Travis Egedy's electronic pop project cleans up a little for its best release yet.


Pictureplane Photograph: Courtesy Terrorbird

When Denver's Pictureplane, the electronic-pop project of Travis Egedy, took off in 2007, it was characterized as yet another vanguard of the then-nascent chillwave genre—Egedy toured with Washed Out and Small Black, after all—but Egedy's music often sounded more bewitched and evil than that of his sample-pop peers. Dark Rift, Pctureplane's debut LP for local label Lovepump United, teemed with twitching, bass-thudding stomps like "Goth Star," in which he maintained a druggy, sexual brood set to glitchy, jarring beats.

Dark Rift was an enchanting record, replete with an eerie mood and its implied cause (hint: drugs). Its successor, Thee Physical, succeeds by clearing away most of the dark fuzz in pursuit of crisper dance-music vehicles, without forsaking any of the music's physicality. Leadoff track "Body Mod" plops you into that mind-set early, utilizing a stuttering beat that serves as the base for an up-tempo trance jam. Elsewhere on the disc, Egedy pushes his vocals forward in the mix, summoning playful, whispering incantations on churning tracks like "Post Physical" and "Real Is a Feeling."

As a whole, Thee Physical holds up as the best thing Pictureplane has put out so far: a compelling mix of accessible techno and trance that would sound good banging from a massive sound system. It's club music for people who don't go to clubs (NYC clubs, anyway), and sure to soundtrack as many late-night dance parties here as at Denver's Rhinoceropolis, Egedy's home base, warehouse and DIY performance space.

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