From the mind of Jam Rostron, the artist behind Planningtorock, comes Planningtochanel, an album designed to accompany Chanel’s 2020 autumn-winter show. A short six tracks, the project is centered around minimal electronic music, with results perhaps better suited to experience alongside the visuals of a fashion show rather than on their own.
Planningtochanel begins with the somewhat cinematic “Drama Darling (Chanel Show Version).” The song presents a dramatic layer of strings before adding vocals that make you think of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman.” Later, “Drama Darling” shows up again but as the “Maxi Version,” just as each of the first three tracks are mirrored by “Maxi Versions,” the latter half being longer, subtly different mixes. Though each song isn’t exactly annoying, they certainly aren’t engaging. Every track on Planningtochanel feels like its grasping at the interesting elements of minimalism, ambient-trance, and electronic music without quite taking hold. Consequently, the project fades in and out without leaving much of a mark. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just there.
On “Drama Darling (Maxi Version),” Jam takes us through over ten minutes of drums, manipulated vocals, strings, and hints of synth. Though these elements could have formed an interesting song, Jam’s composition leaves much to be desired. They seem to be more interested in simply presenting sounds that follow the basic rules of composition rather than exploring the experimental possibilities of their style. The same can be said for “From Tallinn with Love (Chanel Show Version),” which features strings that almost sound like something off a disco song; although it’s the album’s most texturally and compositionally interesting entry, the song still lacks the depth of exploration and nuance that would make it an exciting listen. This problem affects the entire project, making Planningtochanel altogether too forgettable.