Thursday, 20 June 2013

ALBUM REVIEW - Eat Lights Become Lights - Modular Living

Eat Lights Become Lights:
Modular Living:
Rocket Girl:
Out 15th July:

Motorik, progressive, resonating, insistent - these are just a few adjectives one could aim at Neil Rudd's celebratory Krautrock auteurs, Eat Lights Become Lights.

Formed just six years ago, but already sounding like they co-founded Sky Records in the '70s, ELBL is mainly Rudd at the controls with occasional live help from two drummers and a bass-player. For Modular Living however, it's the man himself steering the album to a suitable conclusion, taking onboard various influences such as Can, Neu, Kraftwerk, Hillage, Cluster, Soul-Jazz outfit Subway and even a slice of Spiritualized.

Ultimately, Rudd's own esoteric and eccentric take on psychedelic electronica carries this over the threshold. From the opening lunacy of the title-track, which sounds like the Clangers tap-dancing on the stomach of a dog that's swallowed a flute (look it up), through to the cyclical dervish of the concluding Habitat '67, one gets the impression that mere homage isn't just a hobby, it's become a way of life. Right down to the last drone on 13th Looking South, even through the gently unfolding ambience of Rowley Way Overlook, life in the ELBL lane is often fast, sometimes melancholy, occasionally static but never the same and rarely boring.

Each track on the album is worth repeated listens, with each displaying many facets and enough variety to grab your attention, at least until the next album comes out which, at their rate, will be next Easter. Even when Modular Living trips out in the middle, offering a seamless blanket of modulated synths left on random, it pulls itself out of the potential mire with a couple of belters like  Chiba Prefecture and Electromagnetika, the latter of which sounds like Ozric Tentacles copping off with Silver Apples - and that's great, right?

Good album.