It's probably intuitive to compare Pictureplane to Crystal Castles, another act that's released work on Lovepump United. In that vein, if Crystal Castles is what DJs will blast in the gloomy, bombed-out warehouses where the faceless, hopeless youth of the apocalypse come to party and drown, then Pictureplane is what zombie DJs will spin everywhere else, where the mindless, wandering undead come to throb and thrash amidst carrion and the mutilated still-living, playing dead for the steadily receding dream of being rescued.
Hyperbolic? Absolutely, but Pictureplane's Dark Rift is a work that invites hyperbole. Man behind the music Travis Egedy's airy tenor moans and pants behind his loosely conceptual production, which sounds like it's mostly constructed of samples Egedy found in a sketchy musical scrap yard, if such a thing existed. It all works together to create 55 minutes of consistently interesting, despondent dance pop.
The real success of Pictureplane, Dark Rift, and the loosely likeminded Crystal Castles, is how eerily their work seems to echo the feeling of late-aughts youth culture in general. Listening to Dark Rift you can easily see spilled-drinks, mechanical dancing, desperate preening and dead-eyed dreaming. It is odd how a purposefully jagged aesthetic, paired with vague dark themes, seems to mirror the put-ons of a whole group of people, but here that's exactly what it does.
Egedy should definitely pat himself on the back. Any good art should emulate the era in which it was made, in way or another, and Dark Rift couldn't possibly be mistaken for the product of any other time. In a period where a lot of other "buzzworthy" acts have seemingly shunned the idea of sounding "modern," Pictureplane has run the other way. Also, notice that unintentional analogy between today's youth and an unthinking, flesh-obsessed horde? Well, don't take offense at this review, or Dark Rift. The apocalypse isn't upon us, so it doesn't apply. Yet.
Lovepump United is known primarily for purveying the darkest, most transgressive side of pop's edge, with releases from HEALTH, Crystal Castles, and AIDS Wolf. The pulsing, distorted work of Pictureplane is really no different, and surely his debut album, Dark Rift, adheres to the same "shiny fatal oddity found in an alley" aesthetic. Pictureplane may not hang around the fringes as exclusively as some of Lovepump's other acts, but he's definitely familiar with that part of town. If you're the kind of person who likes funhouse mirrors, this might be the release for you.