Newly-solo PlaneKeys journeys into self-reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation with debut ambient/downtempo EP, ‘Dew Point’
Photo credit: Drewlio Photo.
For anyone who loves electronic sounds infused with traditional instrumentation, PlaneKeys may be right up your alley. PlaneKeys is the downtempo/ambient project of Dallas-based sound designer and keyboardist, Leland Kracher. Kracher has had a rich career working as a professional audio engineer, Ableton sound design mentor, and jam-band musician, touring with his funk/electronic, TryMore MOJO. Through it all, he has had the chance to play alongside Grammy award winners such as Robert “Sput” Searight, Snarky Puppy, and more. Only now has Kracher breaking out on his own as PlaneKeys, and the release of his debut Dew Point EP proves just how he seeks to a name for himself.
This project is the culmination of songwriting and producing in all different areas of my life, from the bedroom studio, to the back on the van on the road touring around the nation with my band.PlaneKeys
Upon first listen, the six-track EP proves itself a veteran piece of work—both masterfully arranged and expertly engineered. PlaneKeys’ past of building close industry relationships lead to recruiting help from friends, with his EP artwork designed by legendary IDM/Downtempo producer, Evan Bartholomew (aka Bluetech) and mastering from Anthony Thogmartin of Papadosio and Earthcry. Focusing on a high-fidelity sound design from both synthesizers and live instruments, Kracher creates rich textures and rolling soundscapes that are perfect for relaxing, meditative listening, while keeping listeners constantly engaged with sonic “Easter eggs” carefully placed throughout each track.
After a childhood filled with music, thanks mostly to his late mother, Kracher continued to pursue his musical ambitions throughout his adolescence. This culminated in 2015 when he earned his degree in Audio Engineering from Dallas’ RRFC. Upon graduating, he was immediately hired as a production assistant at a local studio and Ableton Specialist for his alma mater. Having spent the past five years both in the studio and touring around the United States, he decided to get serious with his solo career when his mother passed away. AS he tells CE,
I began making the majority of this music following my mother passing away early last year after a long battle with cancer. Starting with no goal in mind other than giving myself a sonic escape to hide from the whirlwind of the real world, I quickly realized my passion for this music. I then decided to start sharing these sonic explorations in a Sunday Soundbath series streamed live on my Facebook page, which garnered a lot more attention than was expected, and lead to pursuing the PlaneKeys concept seriously.PlaneKeys
The PlaneKeys story is both humble and layered, proving that a life-long career in music doesn’t start by trying to get in the spotlight while one is still young. It is only with experience and maturity that one can build the synthesized textural landscapes of Dew Point. Whether it’s the gorgeous peaks and valleys in “Orbital Sunshine” and “Cloud Surfer” or the natural, soothing tones of “Oceans,” “Hovering,” and “Descent,” the entire EP takes listeners on a sonic journey into reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Listen below.
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