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Plaid sit right at the very heart of global electronica. In fact there's a very real sense in which Ed Handley and Andy Turner are the perfect encapsulation of what the electronic music of their generation was all about; they brought new rhythmic variation, emotive melody and sensual textures to electronic music, creating a warm and welcoming counterpart to the white heat of the rave explosion.

On new album The Digging Remedy all the elements that first inspired Ed and Andy are there - like the ecstatic Detroit chords in 'CLOCK' - but everything is bigger and broader in scope, more luxuriant, more gleaming with detail. There are fascinating new additions, including contributions on flute and guitar from multi-instrumentalist Benet Walsh, adding even more to Plaid's ever increasing intricate sound palate.

But though the production values are the very highest, none of this is slickness or high drama simply for its own sake, and never do Plaid engage in the crowd-pleasing vainglorious stadium bombast that is all too common in electronic music now. Of course they don't - as they say: in our opinion it should be the artists leading the audiences, not the other way round. That's something that could stand as Plaid's motto, and the thing that's kept them so very fresh over all these years, even as their aims and values remain just what they were at the start.


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