Plike is the solo project of music producer & composer Mad Madam Em. Bending Spoons is her latest release, a five track project offering a blissful and reflective array of ideas and escapism, in a way that, quite frankly, hasn’t been done to such an effective standard in quite some time.
Not only has the music throughout this EP been composed and crafted with absolute consideration and skill, but there’s an underlying wave of depth to the whole thing that is likely to bring out in listeners their utmost human and perhaps otherwise hidden emotions about life and the world. Clocked introduces the collection superbly, presenting this unique and unpredictable scene that all the while evolves into this stunning piece of music – fusing drama and instrumentation, utilising more than just one form of expression, and doing so in a concise and flawless manner.
The Destruction Of Wonderland is a sensational piece of music and performance, somehow successfully fusing the darker side of music, leaning even on occasion towards the intensity of metal, and the softness and vulnerability of ambient trip-hop. The song teases its audience in a way, teetering between the calm, easy going, and the thick and powerful. The featured vocals are stunning, but it’s largely down to this undeniably creative and masterful production style that the whole thing holds so much strength. It captivates and calms you, all the while stealing your awareness, moving you away from where you are, suggesting a song for you to familiarise yourself with, but more so overwhelming you with this other worldly, beautifully haunting soundscape.
To master professional production is no easy feat, and oftentimes the effort put in can take away from the creative essence of the artist working at it. In this case, the best possible outcome has arisen. This EP showcases five entirely unique recordings that toy with your inner feelings and provoke deep consideration, at times calming you, other times evoking the most chaotic of thoughts. And with every moment, the variety of sounds and samples and lyrics and performances are collectively fused in the most captivating and satisfying way.
Black Swan is stunning, a simple set of lyrics that strike with absolute power in among this thick yet mellow beat and these snippets of audio, somehow suggesting both distance and intimacy all at once. Scarecrow is mesmerising, once again providing something impossible to predict or expect, perfectly in keeping with the mood of the collection but adding to it something new and fast and heavy.
The way in which Mad Madam Em compiles these songs is hypnotic and fascinating, with every new occasion of listening there is something else to pick up on, something else to witness, and so the louder you play it, the more these soundscapes fill out and replace all else that surrounds you. There’s a theatrical element to all of this, but in the same instance, it’s very easy to return to this EP for the simple beauty of trip-hop and the dreamlike world it creates around you. Creativity is the key in building something effective yet completely new, and Bending Spoons has it in abundance.
Archangel (Feat. ASH) is the closing track. At just two minutes and twenty seconds long, it feels like a final wave of contemplation, one last, deep breath to see out the end of the experience. This is an intensely atmospheric collection that needs nothing more than for you to listen to it in full and consider the effect it has on you as the songs play out. It’s the sort that will affect each listener differently, and that’s the beauty of great art. The depth and passion with which the EP was created is clear, everything about it takes into account these very real feelings and experiences that drove the artist to compose, and this passes over to you as you witness it.