Greedy Baby

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Hiring a video director for some value-added content at the end of a CD is one thing, but when a techno act co-bills said director for a CD/DVD package, you'd think something special would be going on. Bob Jaroc is a Brighton-based "visual engineer" who provided accompanying film for a new Plaid work, first heard in 2004 at a few British festivals and performed in 5.1 Surround Sound. After a few minutes of randomized modem dialing and voices asking "Hello?," Plaid begin the true program with "I Citizen the Loathsome," an aptly cinematic piece that slowly comes together amidst Jaroc visuals involving slowly revolving scenes of British nightlife. (Nightlife of a sort, that is; parked cars and deserted streetscapes, not strobes and sweaty dancers.) Subsequent videos involve yet more urban nightlife, Asian dentistry, entomological Rorschach blots, and, for the capstone ("The Return of Super Barrio"), an animated storyline involving a hero of lucha libre (Mexican wrestling). Plaid's accompaniment to Jaroc's mildly diverting visuals is more atmospheric and esoteric than the increasing electro bent of Spokes and Double Figure; although it sounds slightly more interesting in 5.1 Surround Sound, most of the musical content is diaphanous and fleeting. [Besides videos for each track, the DVD also offers four extra videos, in 5.1 mixes, of older Plaid tracks, including "Assault on Precinct Zero" (from Double Figure) and "Crumax Rins" (from Spokes).]

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