On 'Res Cogitans', a highlight off his debut EP, the ambitious Continuum, Planete takes his place amongst Australia's new wave of electronic artists
The elusive Melbourne producer PLANÈTE (aka Dion Tartaglione) has tended towards being highly selective with his musical output across his career. But 2018 is proving to be his most prolific year to date, with the release of a pair of stellar two-tracks, Faded Memory / Alone in Parallel and Left-Right / Something, in February and March and now his debut EP, Continuum, which just so happens to also be his most ambitious and lengthiest project to date. A continuous, 30-minute long session of transformative analogue electronica separated into five suites, Continuum ebbs and flows in immersive movements as individual tracks wash into one another carried by a through-line of constantly fluctuating arpeggios.
Reflecting on the decision to release such a unique project as his debut EP, Planète explains that: “I've had the idea of creating a continuous and seamless playback style EP for quite a while. It isn't a new idea but it was new for me to try. The EP is centralised on the theme of a thought process and its relationship with consciousness. The themes in the undercurrent of the tracks play out as a succession of this process pulling together internal and external patterns. The way in which the EP is themed is a direct relationship to the approach I took whilst making it”.
The second of those movements, ‘Res Cogitans’, an early highlight of the piece, is named as a reference to René Descartes’ theory of mental substance, i.e. the idea that minds are made up of non-physical substances such as consciousness (“I think therefore I am”). In Descartes’ dualist philosophy res cogitans stood apart from what he called res extensa: that is, corporeal substances defined by their extension in the world. Appropriately, in Planète’s hands, ‘Res Cogitans’ sees the producer almost searching for a higher level of consciousness. A mentally explorative, patiently building crescendo of a track, ‘Res Cogitans’ sounds as if it’s blossoming into a full being across its nearly-eight minute runtime with its primordial arpeggios floating around in space until it coalesces around a technicolour symphony of modulating synths and a crunchy, shuffling backbeat.
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With his Continuum EP, Planète not only comes into being - he takes his place amongst Australia’s exciting new wave of electronic artists.