Release Date: February 3, 2023
Label: Norm Corps Records
The lines of electronic music often blur and “Planaria” by Govlink floats to the surface as a reminder of the expansive potential of electronic music – and what it means. Combining jungle, noise, electronic, and IDM elements, the album is an interesting sonic experience.
The opening track “Expressive” sets the tone, blending frantic energy and noise elements with a childhood we’d all probably like to forget. It’s a veritable rollercoaster, unapologetic in its intensity and a nice appetizer for what follows.
“Symbiosis” veers into more into busted VHS territory, overlaying its steady drum patterns with a mélange of synth and sound glitches. Nothing like a good breakbeat to remind you how much you miss dancing.
“The Body Held Accountable For Its Actions” trades in a form of subtle aggression. Here, Govlink’s production prowess shines, with chaotic noise beats interspersed with subtle melodic undertones, crafting a disquieting yet intriguing aural landscape. Lots of basic glitch effects and Lifeforce (NES) grooves – but oh so satisfying.
“Z Spring” offers a brief respite with its shorter runtime. It’s a ridiculous track with an almost whimsical feel – like your character keeps dying over and over and there’s nothing you can do about it. Pivot to “Molding” and it’ll bring you back down to Neptune. Dissonant harmonies, soft tones and some solid bass.
Perhaps the album’s standout track, “Abscissa (Outdoor Conversation)” crafts a rich experience by intercepting all the transmissions of this solar system into a sonic infusion of weird noise and satisfying swishes.
“Fluid Spring” is a rhythmic delight, driven by its beautiful percussion and layers of evolving synth lines. The breakbeats and fun glitchy effects remind you to come back down, but the melody is everlasting – as it should be. “I Love You, I Love What We Have” makes me uncomfortable and I think it’s supposed to remind us to not to get all warm and fuzzy.
The album concludes with “Valley of the Parasitoid” – it’s deep and it would sound sprawling if it weren’t for this tide of feelings enveloping its peaks. The transmission is now clear and the album slides into a satisfyingly cacophonous finale. It encapsulates the album’s ethos – challenging, explorative, and unafraid to delve into the darkness.
Ultimately, “Planaria” is an album that rewards multiple listens. For those willing to dive into the sonic labyrinth, the rewards are solid and you’ll always come out of it with something different.