Flares and power moves with the long-serving Warp duo.
Plaid––as in the checked shirt, and not the past tense of play––have
been making music for over 30 years and causing mischief for even longer. As school friends, Ed Handley and Andy Turner were b-boys and graffiti artists long before they turned to electronic music. They spent the early '90s producing breaks and whimsical techno as The Black Dog with Ken Downie, releasing their debut Plaid album, Mbuki Mvuki, while still part of the project. But a rift opened between the pair and Downie, causing the group to split permanently a few years later. Turner and Handley have been Warp Records stalwarts ever since.
As keen collaborators, Plaid have worked with a rich variety of musicians, filmmakers
and designers throughout their career. They've developed shows with the Southbank
Gamelan Players and the London Sinfonietta, released a special app for one of their more recent Warp singles and produced an entirely visual album with the video artist Bob Jaroc. One of Plaid's enduring partnerships is with the artist Felix Thorn, the man behind Felix's Machines, an assemblage of self-playing instruments that Plaid have been composing for since 2009. At Terraforma in Milan, Plaid and Thorn performed the latest iteration of the project before meeting up with RA's Holly Dicker for a candid chat about their career thus far.
Photo credit: Eva Vermande