For his second album as The Mole, de la Plante appears on his own label, Maybe Tomorrow, which he launched last year with Kompakt's Jon Berry. Recorded in Berlin at Wagon Repair's studios, Caregiver steams with de la Plante's psychedelic melding of house and disco. Much like As High As The Sky, it's sewn together with gaps and bridges that show the breadth de la Plante's colorful approach to dance music. "Jamais Que Toi" seems almost waterlogged beneath his humid disco breaks. "Our Time Has Come" mines similar dead-of-summer climes, its hand claps and various synth lines merging into a hypnotic aquiline groove. Elsewhere, there's the Dial-esque house of "A Daily Affair," with its wispy night-trail vibes, or the crowd-sampling, headspinner tech house of "(When) Monkey Punches Dog."
As usual, de la Plante massages his work into an album that works either flat on your back or out in a club. But the more you settle in with Caregiver, the more you notice the lack of those muscular stretches and ear-worm moments that gave As High As The Sky such longevity. In fact, Caregiver may be most intriguing when de la Plante delivers some of his most narcotic moments to date. The hip-hop breaks, cartoon samples and quiet synths of "Slow Blame" sound like the cyborg pillow music Aphex Twin was onto circa Selected Ambient Works 85-92. The closer, "Come On Darlene," creates a strangely velveteen headspace too, with its slo-mo stumble just barely propelling those gorgeous space-odyssey synths into a sleepy drift. Overall, these downtempo retreats seem more weighty and resolute than most of Caregiver's party tracks.