Review: Plinter – Gino

Gino is a cat. “The most funny and friendly cat I ever [did] see”, according to Plinter. At just a year old, Gino was somehow poisoned and died shortly after. This album is a tribute to both his life (bouncy, mischievous electronics and kitten farts), death (swarms of static and darkness), and the time that Gino allegedly ate some magic mushrooms (melting multi-coloured collages). And while each track allegedly covers a particular aspect of Gino’s existence, these phases infringe on eachother. Sinister noise seeps into the album’s jovial moments, while delays and phasers send synthesisers into dance, dragged into fantasy by either hallucinogenics or the juvenile zeal of the kitten imagination. Retrospective prophecy dims those naïve flashes of happiness, but love illuminates the patches of dark.

The 22-minute “Gino’s (f)arts” occupies the first side of this record, and it’s beautifully restless. Tiny, vibrant details ricochet into the stereo corners. Drumbeats collapse into dissonant electronic fanfares. I wonder if this is analogous to that insatiable cat curiosity; everything is a stimulant, with even the most mundane objects becoming worthy of frenzied exploration. The senses are forever teeming with potential threat and opportunity, rich with colours that spell danger or playful invitation.

The second half is slower and darker. Those peripheral flourishes start to fade away, as Plinter starts to fixate on one strange detail at a time: grumbling low drones, bangs of industrial percussion. And then we reach those final five minutes, which are nothing short of heartbreaking – a synthesiser emulates the meows of Gino’s final moments as the poison sinks in, and the once vivacious record lurches gradually towards silence and death. Personally, I’ve taken to playing the first side of the album again at this point, ending my listening experience on Gino’s miraculous return to life.