Keepsake (France 2003)

RELEASE DATE: 12.11.03 RELEASE# G22-012

Plan B’s second release ‘Keepsake,’ originally produced in small numbers as a thank you gift for european friends they met while touring Europe in 2003, was released in France by the French record label GGOO22 of Paris. Plan B music uses elements of Indie Rock, Hip Hop, and Electronic

Keepsake was produced and engineered by James van Leuven while traveling in Europe.  Plan B is the solo project of James van Leuven of Seattle, WA.  Guest musicians on Keepsake are:

Jen Kozel – violin on In Search Of…
Krista Warden – Singing on Why Is It?
Aerielle Levy – Cello on Why Is It?
Bill Jones – Trumpet on Systemitis
Leigh Gable – Standup Bass on Latchkey Kid


special thanks to:

Adde Russell, Aerielle Levy, Amanda Graham, Bill Jones, Djoule Chailloux, Jennifer Maerz, Elias Avinger, Emily Alford, Falko of Berlin, Gilles Terano, Ggoo22, Greg van Leuven, James Bertram, Jen Kozel, Jamie and Jaqualine, Josh Rosenfeld, Judy Louisell, Kris K, Krista Warden, Leigh Gable, Mark Duston, Min Liao, Minius, Molly Slaughter,Nadin Brendal, Oliver Byrd, Phil Ek, Raina Brody, Roland Benedetti, Sarah Bagshaw, Thomas Brierly, Jesus Garcia, Grand Buffet, MIA, Outhud, Radio 4 and Sole


PRESS Reviews


May 1st, 2004
Download This
— SHERYL CROW’s bloated, sterile take on the Cat Stevens-penned ”The First Cut Is the Deepest” left us pained. She redeems herself with a heartfelt acoustic version from Sessions@AOL. ITUNES.COM

— Interested in an underground stew of jazzy electro-pop? Give a listen to the trumpet-laced lullaby ”Systemitis” by Seattle-based producer PLAN B (a.k.a. James van Leuven). PLANBBOY.COM/MUSIC.HTML

— THE SECRET MACHINES, who fuse the space rock of Pink Floyd and Spiritualized, offer their debut months ahead of its release. Don’t miss the cinematic ballad ”Leaves Are Gone.” THESECRETMACHINES.COM

— You’ll have to wait until 2005 for a new WHITE STRIPES album, but take heart in the blustering blues of their ”Black Jack Davey,” a good indication that a rumored rarities disc will arrive by year’s end. ITUNES.COM
Remerciements, April 2004(fr)
I must say that I was a little surprised at first listen because I imagined Plan B to be more on the sombre side… On the contrary, I found most of the tracks more child-like in ambiance, and more simplified, less tortured than Godspeed and Co. For my part, I regard their work more along the lines of Mum, who were able to create a completely transcendant imaginary world for everyone who knew how to listen and take the time to dream. “Keepsake” left me with an
impression of joyful madness, wintery softness, and spacy dreamscape, “in search of” for example… magnificant and sincere. You’ll have understood that I was really pleased with the EP and that it has found a place in the program “the latecomers”.
La MagicBox l’émission, March 2004(fr)
Plan B is a collective from Seattle led by James Van Leuven, one man band and a sort of West Coast Xian Hawkins (Sybarite). Drummer for the noise rockers Automaton, he consecrates himself here to an electronica project that we might place by default among Boards of Canada, Anticon, and Playdoh. As much as Automaton’s sound derive from noise, Plan B takes off in a different direction, the direction towards a diffused, but never quite empty ambiance. Occasionally the album wanders into the territory of Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk, except here the sonority is definitely electronic. …fleeting trumpet lines, the frenetic pounding of a contrabass, chords in the distance, a guitar in moorage, and even the delicate voice of a child (why is it). Plan B plays with time (latchkey kid), lets the instruments loose (systemitis), and inverts the spatial plane putting a chaotic rhythm in front of suspended instruments. Post-rock, electronica, jazz, hip hop? A little of it all.
“A Decouvrir Absolument”, April 2004(fr)
You like caresses? The soft touch, the light stroke that comforts, or gives you a happy feeling. Plan B is one of these caresses. A music of loops, child-like voices tucking you in under a warm blanket that better supports the sometimes
cold aspects of these Mum (esque) compositions. Plan B isn’t so much a cradle as an EP that intelligently relaxes.
Hypnotic, Keepsake takes on some elements of Massive Attack (systemitis) careful to dunk them in a bleach bath. A helpful sax, a malicious trompette, Plan B surrounds itself with anything that will waken the senses via the pleasure centers. Never lame, always close to a “spirit of Eden” (untitled) Plan B. What if Plan B is composing the true melody of happiness?
Liability: Plan B, Keepsake Review,, March 2003(fr)
Plan B is a group from Seattle that like to mix musical genres. We can call their music indie electronica, even if their hip hop and trip hop influences are equally identifiable at first listen. They’ve already played with Radio 4 (DFA) and Modest Mouse, as well as in clubs, museums, bars, and art galleries. This new five song album, recorded during the summer of 2003, will be released this summer on the Parisian label GG0022. Eschewing a lead voice, Plan B prefers to leave something open to the listener’s imagination. Their sound can’t really be described on paper. Alternating electronic tones, trip hop bass, and hip hop beats; all interwoven into abstract compositions and vague constructions.
The vocals seems more like murmurs. The five experimental tracks form a strong whole that fits together perfectly. The cello on ‘why is it?” or the dark moods of “systemitis” always fit. “Keepsake” is a different sort of ambient music, that delves in all areas to create an irreal music. On “untitled” the guitar is reminiscent of a post rock experiment, while the electronic feel quickly returns for “in search of”. No time to get comfortable, Plan B changes colors with each track, without loosing itself in tiresome experimentation
Trampoline House: The HEAT Issue.
August, 2004 out of New York
This is a big issue for us — it marks our one year anniversary, and we think it’s our BEST issue yet.

Featured Artist and MP3 preview: Plan B – Daylight Breaking 3:32, Pre-Release from the upcoming LP. There is music that requires a certain mood — “I’m just not in the mood for sex pistols,” or “I could really go for some biz markie right about now” — and then there’s music that creates its own mood. Plan B’s ‘Daylight Breaking’ falls into the latter category. Soft, warm and optimistic as a spring morning (a weekend spring morning), ‘daylight breaking’ is a revelry in a new day — in all possible interpretations. James van Leuven calls upon the lilting, bouyant violin of Jen Kozel(quasi, elliot smith) and the sweetsweet voice of labelmate Amy Blaschke to wring a subtelty, gentleness and yes, warmth, out of his electronic composition that — admit it — you didn’t know was possible. If you don’t like this one, you’re hopeless.
Trampoline House: The RADIO Issue.
July, 2004
This is a big issue for us — it marks our one year anniversary, and we think it’s our BEST issue yet.
May 1st, 2004

Although “Latchkey Kid,” Seattle producer Plan B’s ephemeral groove, is posted on his website, the rest of his latest EP, Keepsake, is available only in France. C’est la vie, PLANBBOY.COM