Regions finds Ellis Island Sound dealing in typically potent melody and groove, fusing Holger Czukay-like studio-as-instrument collage with buoyant West and East African guitar and percussion influences, the whole thing wrapped in resonant dub dynamics and garnished with John Hart’s jazz/not jazz brass, recalling Pete Zummo’s trombone embellishments on many of Arthur Russell’s records. Sometime Radiohead collaborator John Matthias applies vocals to five tracks, coming on like an opiated James Brown channelling Damo Suzuki. Regions has already been described as “Afro-Krautrock” and “Teutonic High Life” in some quarters, and within the album’s swirling, pulsing eddies it’s certainly possible to detect the influence of Jean Bosco Mwende or King Sunny Ade’s guitars, or the polyrhythmic ensemble force of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and T-Funk-period Talking Heads, alongside the kinetic momentum of Neu! or Can, with moments of pastoral, electronically enhanced delicacy that recall Four Tet or Gold Panda.
released April 7, 2014
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