THE MOLE – DE LA PLANET
A1. Harmony Day
A2. Going With The Hat Man
A3. Braineater Returns
B1. He Frank
B2. One-Sided Fool
C1. Going With The Hat Man (Drums & Bass Mix)
C2. Sandwich Time Is Coming
D1. Soft Translation
D2. So What, Don’t You
D3. River Highways Intro
D4. Time Out
Cassette Bonus: Mods In The Living Room
“I try to perform as honestly as possible” — the soundbite borrowed from late dancer Dudley Williams for this record’s second track could have been uttered by The Mole himself. It’s this candor that has allowed us to bear witness to a very marked and very audible transition from his days as a producer in Montreal to becoming a part of the Berlin scene. And what we have here is one result of that very explicit sonic metamorphosis.
De La Planet is our dyslexic subject’s third studio album, one that stays true to his ethos of weird above all in the best possible sense. And yet it feels like something distinctly new. Tapping his enormous reservoir of vinyl and sampling the odd film have acted as complement to the jaw-dropping arsenal of synthesizers at de la Plante’s disposal—a battery of machines he’s been quietly improving his skills on during the past few years. Or not so quietly, perhaps. The man himself would probably say “I’m coming out of the woodshed”, and go off on a tangent about Sonny Rollins and his saint of a wife. But that’s a story for another sheet.
While the days of Franco-Canadian dollar-record digging are behind him, this album is nothing if not quintessential Mole. And the opening Harmony Day makes sure to let us know we’re in for a beautifully strange ride. But not without a dance floor throwdown first—by way of the symphony of pleas, bargains and one-line artist manifestos that is Going With The Hat Man. From its own dizzying heights through to the sci-fi inflected thumps of Braineater Returns, all the way to He Frank’s earworm of a wonky cowbell, it’s a charter through seldom explored lands. After The Hat Man gets the instrumental treatment, we proceed to Sandwich Time Is Coming, which sounds like a sonic wink at the portrait of Prince presiding over Colin’s turntables—or is it the Klee illustration of a man expelling a smiling turd right next to it? Either way, this one smells like it’s 4:20. Which makes sense, as just one track later we get “I like to get high. So what? Don’t you?” And there’s no arguing with that thick percussive groove. The cinematic ambiance of Soft Translation and esoteric ripples of River Highways round out the trip, before Time Out sends us on our way with an early-aughties beat to march along to. Ding ding, time’s up. This trip through La Planet is completed. Though we’re tempted to jump the fence, relax and stay a while.
But wait, there’s more. Call now and you’ll receive a modular-only bonus track harkening straight back to the 80s. That’s right, this underwater love song goes out to all the Elle Macphersons formerly populating those teenage bedroom walls out there. Romantic, eh?