Soda Plains, Scintii (live), Alex Wang, moremore, Zean
Raised in Hong Kong and now based in Berlin, Alexis Chan produces music under the name of Soda Plains. About once a year, he’s released EPs that have earned him critical acclaim, including Rushes on the conceptually driven, Finnish-run Black Ocean in 2014, and Kickbacks on London’s Liminal Sounds, in 2015. His latest offering is the full-length, self-released album In Tongues. Even within Chan’s niche realm of esoteric experimental music, his practice is singular. The Soda Plains sound is often described as “baroque,” marked by a rapid layering of precise, detailed phrases, heavy in harpsichords and strings.
The baroque of In Tongues, comprising ten unbearably lush set pieces, goes further. On his new album, Chan displays his dizzying facility as an electronic producer, composing and sculpting a sonic architecture through obsessive editing of disparate materials. He manages to stage and crystallize the sublimity that experimental music generates inside the club, its brutal, transformative emotions. In Tongues recaptures those heady feelings, which, leaving the party, dissipate like smoke in the night air outside.