Pluto Era gets experimental in vivid new EP, ‘Otoconia’
When the game is experimental bass that verges on the edge of extraterrestrial, Pluto Era consistently lives up to his name, and his latest offering is no different. A showcase of the rising talent’s aptitude for sound design and arrangement, Otoconia seamlessly weaves its elements into one cohesive composition, each track with its own nuanced soundscape presenting a distinct moment in the collective story. The 5-track release is Pluto Era’s most comprehensive project to date, following his 2019 EP Proto Human, as well as the collaborative glitch-hop EP, Lookout with fellow Philadelphia-based artist 5AM.
Kicking off the EP is “Amnesia”, driven by a familiar liquidy bass synth reminiscent of the producer’s 2016 breakout track “Grotter“, which has been ID’d in Bassnectar‘s sets and accumulated nearly 250k streams across all platforms. “Hermit” expands on its predecessor’s backbone, incorporating Eastern scales and an uptempo half-time before concluding with a lively, brassy resolution.
“Edge of the World” takes a sinister turn, uniting reverberant drums and an anxiety-inducing pitch bend that presumably elicits the feeling its title suggests. Fittingly, the artist stated via his Instagram that the track was inspired by the coastal cliffs of Big Sur, CA, while the climactic guitar riff could be interpreted as a nod to the music’s jam-band influences.
The project’s vast potential fully realizes in “Fade to Dust”, an undeniable groove whose contagious energy belongs on the festival grounds. Rounding off Otoconia is “Rumination”, an evocative and deeply introspective track some might consider the highlight of the EP, distinguished by its meditative qualities and expertly layered melodies for an entrancing sonic experience from start to finish.