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PLAIN FADE

Post Rock/Math rock • Finland


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Plain Fade biography
Plain Fade is a Finnish band whose music combines a trademark Northern European sense of melancholy with urban feeling of detachment. The band, founded in 1997 in Tampere, Finland, evokes a strong sense of drama in their compositions, using their trademark intuitive way of making music to create their uncompromising dynamic soundscapes.
After the 2003-single "Datura", Punos Sound released Plain Fade's first full-length album, "Lies, Sanctions and Cruise Missiles" in March 2005. The album won critical acclaim and the band did various shows with some respected alternative music acts (such as Cult of Luna (SWE), Pedigree (EST), Callisto, Magyar Posse, Kuusumun Profeetta). Improvisation-based, more experimental second album, "Aure", was released in November 2006.
After some hiatus in 2007-2008, the band returned in 2009 with so-far-the-most-megalomaniac project: Anthropogonia is a piece that features a collaboration with the Helsinki-based choir WiOL. The band did two concerts with this 50-voice mixed choir in Helsinki (Nosturi and Stoa the Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki) in November 2009. "Anthropogonia " - Plain Fade with WiOL album will be released through Verdura Records in autumn 2010.
The music presents the listener with a rich world of sharp contrasts, where slow dynamic build-ups erupt into majestic chaos, letting delicate melodies collide with bombastic codas. In addition to using traditional rock band instruments like guitars, drums and keyboards, the band also utilises a variety of other instruments such as cellos, harp and samplers.

Plain Fade's music in 2010 is a mixture of colossal melodies, pompous grandeur, delicate minimalism, Slavic sense of melancholy and North European nature. Influences range from ambient to hard core punk rock and from medieval to minimalism.

Plain Fade is (2010):
Juho Koivuaho
Raimo Kovalainen
Jussi Lehtinen
Juho Salmi
Miikka Salonen
Oskari Tolonen

Plain Fade official website

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PLAIN FADE discography


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PLAIN FADE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Lies, Sanctions and Cruise Missiles
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Aure
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthropogonia
2011

PLAIN FADE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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PLAIN FADE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PLAIN FADE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Datura
2003

PLAIN FADE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Aure by PLAIN FADE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Aure
Plain Fade Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars The Finnish group Plain Fade started recording their second album right after the release of the debut, in 2005, drawing inspiration from the lakeside. Aurejärvi is one of the thousands of our lakes I don't remember ever having heard of, but googling reveals that it locates in Northern parts of Pirkanmaa region, not very far from the band's hometown Tampere. Lies, Sanctions and Cruise Missiles was a dark-toned, melancholic work of Post-Rock (that I associated with the Belgian Battlestations), and on this album the style comes closer to Ambient. The biggest difference is that whereas most of the debut's tracks were rather long and included even violent shifts from calmness to edginess and back, these ten tracks stay mostly in an average length and don't progress that much within themselves.

That makes it easy to tell right away which tracks are accessibly beautiful and which are a bit harder to enjoy because of more dissonant sounds. Vocals are this time completely absent if I remember right. All track titles seem to be names of specific locations on the lake. The main composer in the band is the keyboard player Juho Koivuaho, but this music is based on improvisational sessions by the lake. I think YouTube has one or two tracks from this album. Actually it's quite difficult to capture in words. Here and there I felt some resemblance with the more ambientish parts of 666 by Aphrodite's Child, or early Vangelis such as L'Apocalypse des Animaux. The mood is sort of introvert and thoughtful. There may be no clear highlights that would stick to one's memory, instead the album works as a whole continuum, letting plenty of space for inner images (of untouched nature above anything else, or is this only a presumption evoked by the theme? Well, urban or upbeat this is not!), and it's completely up to the listener how deeply (s)he is taken into that trip.

It's interesting to see that for the third album Antrhopogonia (2011) this group took a whole different direction, teaming with a choir - singing in Ancient Greek! - to make a grandiose concept album. What next?

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 Lies, Sanctions and Cruise Missiles by PLAIN FADE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Lies, Sanctions and Cruise Missiles
Plain Fade Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars I'm continuing my mission to write down my first impressions on modern, little-known Finnish bands. Plain Fade is a quintet originating from Tampere and this is their debut, followed by two albums this far. Roughly a year ago I wrote about the Belgian group Battlements, and now I feel a strong similarity in the atmosphere. Melancholic post-rock with lots of contrast between fragile delicacy and anger. The leaflet doesn't tell who plays what instruments. Seems to be an ordinary rock combo with some additional strings, e.g. cello. Keyboards remain mostly in the background and yet are equally essential with anything else, as the band avoids clear lead roles in favour of the organic soundscape. Often the keys are musical box reminding electric piano. Also the guitar is mostly electric and it's not used for solistic purpose.

The long opener uses over five minutes in totally hurriless ambience before the drums raise up the tempo and everything gets louder. The voice, as if heard from a distance, is like some maniac shouting strange sentences on government, war and god. On tracks 'Blue Skies Ahead' and 'Chips Falling Where They May' the frail, high vocals comparable to SIGUR RÓS get slightly bigger role, and again there are sudden shifts from calmness to disturbing edginess. Well, this feature is perhaps turning into mannerism during the album. 'Cerebellum', where the vocals increase the sense of anxiety and desperation, uses that contrast too. By the way, the nocturnal, desolate pictures go hand in hand with the music's atmosphere as they seem to whisper urban alienation.

'Art Brut Machine' brings some needed clarity and open air in the sound. Piano plays a sad melody, almost like a Zbigniew Preisner tune from a Kieslowski film, and is accompanied by cello and some vocalization. The nearly 11-minute final title track gets its first inevitable loudness contrast very early on. Then the steady beat of a bass-drum leads the way until the playing slowly fades away somewhere in the middle of the track. And so, very slowly, with gentle guitar strumming and some additional louder moments, the album comes to the end, leaving the listener alone in silence with his/her unclarified thoughts.

Within the ambience-centred post-rock field this is a strong work even measured on an international level. It must be pointed out that it's sad, cold and very introvert. I definitely wouldn't play it on a date, or on any gathering of friends. It is music for melancholy. Maybe even as such there could have been some more rays of light...

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