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Soda Plains Made a Stunning Baroque Club Track Inspired by Vlach Magic and the Roman Empire

Hear "Traiana" now ahead of its release on The Astral Plane's forthcoming compilation, 'Pschotropia.'
Photo by Ilya Lipkin

If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of underground club sounds from all over the globe, you could do much worse than to follow The Astral Plane. Gabe Meier, its lead architect, stays quite busy: not only does he do a monthly column for FACT where he highlights under-exposed music, but he also keeps up a well-written blog with one of the best podcast series available online.

It's no surprise, then, that when the multi-platform operation gets around to putting out music, it's really good too. They've previously released Heterotopia, a compilation featuring people like Air Max '97 and ballroom heavyweight Divoli S'vere, as well as a couple remix EPs of that material. Now they're back with another compilation, Psychotropia (artwork above), which is set to feature Grovestreet, Organ Tapes, and more.

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If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of underground club sounds from all over the globe, you could do much worse than to follow The Astral Plane. Gabe Meier, its lead architect, stays quite busy: not only does he do a monthly column for FACT where he highlights under-exposed music, but he also keeps up a well-written blog with one of the best podcast series available online.

It's no surprise, then, that when the multi-platform operation gets around to putting out music, it's really good too. They've previously released Heterotopia, a compilation featuring people like Air Max '97 and ballroom heavyweight Divoli S'vere, as well as a couple remix EPs of that material. Now they're back with another compilation, Psychotropia (artwork above), which is set to feature Grovestreet, Organ Tapes, and more.

Describing the release, Meier said: "12 tracks from a group of my favorite new artists, each offering up a unique take on club and noise music tropes that deviate from the accepted electronic music narrative. Whereas last year's

Heterotopia

functioned as an ulterior take on functional club music,

Psychotropia

explores the non-peak time components of a night out, experiences that are often rife with hopeful anticipation, anxiety and disappointment."

Ahead of its release, today we're premiering an exclusive track from the compilation by Berlin/London-based producer Soda Plains, who has previously put out an all-original mixtape for DIS magazine, a mix for Astral Plane, and a solo EP for Renaissance Man's label Black Ocean. Much like his previous material, on "Traiana" he works in the weird space created when you cross a baroque sound palate with advanced sound design. Crucially, he also knows how to work with rhythm and melody to make a seriously persuasive club track.

The producer gave THUMP some backstory for the song: "'Traiana' was recorded whilst I was traveling in East Serbia, a part close to the Iron Gates of the Danube. The area has some prominent remains from the Roman empire, including one of the first bridges across the river by Emperor Trajan, marked by the Tabula Traiana. There are also these layers of mystique around the region from its long tradition of Vlach magic. I'm no stranger to being caught in the 'historical moment', but being in a place so rich with lore somehow set the terms for something anachronous to develop."

Check out the track above, and be sure to snag the comp once it's out October 27.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Describing the release, Meier said: "12 tracks from a group of my favorite new artists, each offering up a unique take on club and noise music tropes that deviate from the accepted electronic music narrative. Whereas last year's

Heterotopia

functioned as an ulterior take on functional club music,

Psychotropia

explores the non-peak time components of a night out, experiences that are often rife with hopeful anticipation, anxiety and disappointment."

Ahead of its release, today we're premiering an exclusive track from the compilation by Berlin/London-based producer Soda Plains, who has previously put out an all-original mixtape for DIS magazine, a mix for Astral Plane, and a solo EP for Renaissance Man's label Black Ocean. Much like his previous material, on "Traiana" he works in the weird space created when you cross a baroque sound palate with advanced sound design. Crucially, he also knows how to work with rhythm and melody to make a seriously persuasive club track.

The producer gave THUMP some backstory for the song: "'Traiana' was recorded whilst I was traveling in East Serbia, a part close to the Iron Gates of the Danube. The area has some prominent remains from the Roman empire, including one of the first bridges across the river by Emperor Trajan, marked by the Tabula Traiana. There are also these layers of mystique around the region from its long tradition of Vlach magic. I'm no stranger to being caught in the 'historical moment', but being in a place so rich with lore somehow set the terms for something anachronous to develop."

Check out the track above, and be sure to snag the comp once it's out October 27.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.