Plan B – Like a Ship Sailing

Plan B
Like a Ship Sailing

Some relationships start in a curious way; as you get to know someone you initially think they are annoying but not enough to be rude to. Then, without even noticing it, they have become a good friend and the question is no longer whether you should spend time with them but if there should be something more. At some point you fall in love and the whole thing just sort of snuck up on you. The reality is that just takes awhile to start digging someone or something in a real way. Like a Ship Sailing by Plan B is the musical equivalent to this romantic situation. During the course of three listens, I went from “it’s not me, it’s you,” to “it’s not you, it’s me,” and finally ended up at “nevermind all that, let’s make out.”
This persistent little album is the work of James van Leuven, a member of the west coast post-punk outfit Automoton. His solo foray out of the rock scene is a surprisingly vibrant down-tempo electronic album. His work has built up a decent level of credibility in the fickle Seattle scene due to his interesting live shows that feature multimedia film displays and his own break-dancing prowess.
What makes this album initially so hard to sink into but ultimately so enjoyable is diversity of the album. The sound doesn’t really fall into one consistent theme, but it still manages to maintain coherence within its malleability. One thread that does run through the work is the use of various audio samples that could get creepy if they were done by someone else but, in this context, remain chilled out and enjoyable. “Love” features the repitition of an audio sample that becomes its own instrumental force imbedded in the twinkly, sweet electronic loops. The real stand-out of the album is “Plans for Tomorrow,” which features a dirty and satisfying bass loop. This minimal song carries a delicious grit to it without shaking the overall chilled out mood of the album.
While Plan B doesn’t really reach the creative heights of his influences, Like a Ship Sailing remains a great output in its own right. A decidedly enjoyable record whether you are a DJ or just looking for something to slowly fall in love with.