If you heard this album without knowing its origin, you’d think it was a bright new outfit fresh on the scene, ready to dazzle with their talent for instrumental colour and original rhythms. As it turns out, this is Plaid’s tenth studio album, and this is why they are still such an integral part of the Warp label. Ed Handley and Andy Turner are able to make music from the big, bold outlines of opening track ‘Meds Fade’ to the luminous textures of ‘Downed Sea’. Riffs are often oblique but always with a hint of charm, while the rhythms are off beat but again make perfect sense, twisting and turning instinctively but really enjoyably too. The rippling outlines of ‘Maru’ are rather lovely, ‘Prize’ shows the scope of their instrumental imagination by including a harpsichord, while gurgling clarinets can be heard elsewhere. This is a living, breathing electronic album that stands right up there with the best moments from Plaid’s three decades.
 
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5

Plaid – Maru (Official Audio)