Eat Light Become Lights – Modular living (Rocket Girl)

The project of Englishman Neil Rudd, Eat Lights Become Lights take various strands of Krautrock (motorik pulses, drones, some pastoral kosmische soundscapes too) and mould them into a gleaming vehicle for 21st century (mostly) instrumental pop.

The album gets straight onto the autobahn with a thrilling opening, ‘Modular living’, full of sprightly mid range pulses and energising upper arpeggios (full drums help too), before gearing down for ‘MOD-ULO-510’, a steadfast, nodding rhythm full of comforting bleeps and synth rushes, more suited to a Sunday drive on a quiet side road perhaps.

Back on to the main drag for ‘13th Looking South’, using a lovely motorised drone with twinkling side effects. Although the front of the album is loaded in motorik gear, there is still room for beautiful diversions into pastoral terrain midway through.

‘Rowley Way Overlook’ is a particularly gorgeous kosmische interlude, intertwining keyboard melodies wrapping around just the hint of a filtered vocal sample. The one-two-three bassline could send you to sleep happily dreaming of electric sheep. Although ‘Los Feliz to Griffith’ which follows it gives it a good run for its money, a wonderful, dreamy choir of analogue drift.

‘Life in the sprawl’ makes the endless reach of suburbia seem almost bearable with its shimmering repetition. The album highlight for me is ‘Chiba Prefecture’, a fantastic combination of eyes down drumming and eyes wide synth twinkle. It’s just magical the way it surges and sways.

‘Electromagnetika’ brings us back to full speed motorik settings, a pulsing monster of a runaway train/car, before we slip out on ‘Habitat ‘67’, another blissfully serene mid-tempo work-out which flirts with orchestral overtones and Reichian shapes.

This shifting up and down the gears works brilliantly. Each tempo and mood hold their own, the variety if anything throwing further light on the wider Krautrock project. You get the feeling hearing this music live could be something like a religious experience. Failing that, the album is glorious in its own right.


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