P.A.L.A.S. – Fischer Endgame
P.A.L.A.S. is a Kildare electronic act who release the Tron Legacy-aping EP Quantify Direction last year, and were one of the acts who played the recent Drop-D Relaunch party. This is their first full-length release, although clocking in at less than half-an-hour it’s a very short album. This, however, is by no means a complaint. It’s better to cut out the filler and only put out the good stuff. And like that debut EP, this is available for free. They are of the opinion “sure who pays for music these days?” Releasing a free record also is a greater way of getting to the masses. You won’t pay ten quid for something you’ve never heard before, but you might click “Free Download” and add it to your iTunes.
If you’re into cinematic orchestral electronica, then this could be the album for you. Filled with lush synths and glorious soundscapes, it’s a well-polished debut from one of Ireland’s finest upcoming acts. ‘Opening Theory’ or ‘Qxb4 Qd4′ as it’s also known introduces the floaty atmospheric tone of the record. Its title also introduces the framework of the album; the tracks are named after Chess notation, and the whole thing is a tribute to chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer.
It’s not a flawless record, certainly, but it’s a very good debut. Tracks like ‘Qb4 Ra4 (The Expanse)’ sound good as stand alone tracks, but on the album, it interrupts the flow, and seems out of place. However, there’s far more to admire than to look down on. ’0-0-0 (Ruthless Efficiency)’, the longest track here at 03:51 is a beautiful mesh of sounds and beats, while ‘e4 e5 Nf3 Nc6 Bb5 (Sacrificial Moves)’ is a vicious construction of contrasting tones, which actually make for a disjointed, but paradoxically cohesive whole.
I was definitely impressed with the debut album from P.A.L.A.S., and have them marked out as one to watch for the future. It’s surprising that more people haven’t stood up and taken notice.