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Eyeless in Gaza: Summer Salt & Subway Sun

Eyeless in Gaza are a two piece band comprising of Peter Becker and Martyn Bates. They have been making records for over 25 years however, this is the first I have heard from this duo. This was originally released as one cd and a year later the second cd was added making for a pretty deluxe package. The music found here can be described as experimental electronic music or even post-rock. Most of the songs are slow to mid-tempo excursions containing lush electronic sound-scapes and tranquil ambient-like moments. Keyboards, melodium, bass, tapes, percussion and guitars are the main instruments used. Most of the music contained within this 2 cd set is similar in structure and melody. This did not bother me in the slightest as the songs flow very well together and there is nothing that seems out of place. It is clear to me that melody is an important component, but many of the songs have a high experimental factor that makes for some adventurous listening. The vocals of Becker and Bates are very melodic, subtle, and somewhat understated, which really fits this style of music. The first cd contains more typically accessible song structures while the second cd seemed a little more experimental to these ears.

The first cd entitled Summer Salt has many satisfying moments and I will touch on a few of the highlights. "Whitening Rays" begins with stabbing electric guitar chords and a muted droning guitar sound. The layered dreamy vocals are very nice and give this one plenty of melody. "Mixed Choir" is an instrumental guitar based tune, experimental in nature and has a post-rock vibe. I really like the layers of sound created by the guitar and melodica. The stark piano and peaceful vocals of Bates in "Summer Salt" makes for a haunting but enjoyable listen. The ultra slow tempo and overall mellowness makes this one good for nighttime listening. Beautiful acoustic picking and excellent vocal harmonies make "Ebbing All The Years" my personal favorite and probably contains the albums nicest melody. Becker also lays down some nice bass work.

The second cd entitled Subway Sun is a little less immediate but is probably a bit more adventurous. The ominous sounding instrumental "Star Pool, Milky Way" starts things off in an experimental fashion with plenty of chilling sound effects and a slow plodding rhythm. Electric guitar and a wave of sound, presumably made by tapes, makes for an effective beginning. I like the many textures and sound-scapes used to make what is an essentially ambient song quite interesting. "I Told You it Wouldn't Rain" is another instrumental with subtle electric guitar and bursts of sound effects. While it is experimental and atmospheric it actually works because of the coherent melody hidden amongst the layers of sound.

I enjoyed listening to this album. If you like atmospheric acoustic/electric music with plenty of experimentation in sound I suggest you check it out for yourself. Excuse me while I give this another spin.

Track Listing:
Disc 1: Summer Salt
1. Dust Box/Subway Sun
2. Whitening Rays
3. Mixed Choir
4. Summer Salt
5. The 3-D Picture
6. Before Beginning
7. Where Vivid Bloomed
8. Paper Aeroplanes
9. Antipathy Whisper
10. Ebbing All The Years
11. Ghost Blocks

Disc 2: Subway Sun
1. Star Pool, Milky Way
2. All New
3. I Told You it Wouldn't Rain
4. Phantom Music
5. Zeal
6. One-Legged
7. Broken
8. Antiphony Whispers
9. Song-Like in the Dead Night
10. Five Songs

Added: January 31st 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2278
Language: english

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