Eat Static :: Last Ship To Paradise (Interchill)

While Last Ship To Paradise is a good, solid electronic album combining elements of IDM style beats and grooves, it is not choked with so much synthesis that one can’t hear the tunes for the wires.

With 13 albums created over 28 years, Eat Static have earned their status as legendary pioneers in the art of modern electronic music. Not the academic, chin-stroking stuff heard in the parlors of French composers but the stuff that arose from the lofts and warehouses of the early techno scene. So it is not without some great expectation that their latest album arrives upon eager, waiting ears.

Last Ship To Paradise (Interchill) is their foray into modular synthesis and the first album to reunite founder Merv Pepler and Steve Everitt. The publicity that arrives with the album makes it very clear that this is a leap forward for Eat Static. Which is interesting because while it’s a good, solid electronic album combining elements of IDM style beats and grooves, it is not choked with so much synthesis that one can’t hear the tunes for the wires.

“Eerie Nothingness” is the album’s opener which, clocking in at a hefty 8:06 (all but one of the album’s tracks are over seven minutes in length), asks much of the listener. They will be rewarded by the mood settings thud of drums and slow, murky synths. “Shadow Locked” picks up the pace with a faster beat, deep bass exploration and a restrained, competent amount of glitchy manipulation. “Fallen Angel” delivers an atmospheric journey through a galactic luau with a solid reggae-ton beat, percolating synths and arpeggios over a deep deep bassline. “The Swamp” delivers a deep, dub-stepping segue into subterranean layers of sound. “Buttered Plums” is a short two minute jaunt into knob twiddling wankery which is a nice break in the midst of the album’s other tracks. “The Gates” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Monolake album with the FM synthesized tones and swirls of soundscapes—until you arrive at the part with the thundering drums.

Newcomers to the band might have a hard time discerning whether the album was made in the 90’s or 2000’s while diehard fans of Eat Static will be able to place it instantly. Last Ship To Paradise is a good listening for a night drive, a night out, or on the way home from a trip around the sun and back.

Last Ship To Paradise is available on Interchill. [Bandcamp]

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