Eat Static


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The cover was all that was needed to confirm that Eat Static consisted of ex-hippies tripping the cosmic dance waves: halfway to Yes visions of flying saucers over stone circles and the like, not to mention the curious looking fellow on the back cover with his star helmet. For all of the jam band/festival weirdness of Eat Static's parent group the Ozrics, things here sound more interesting and less inclined to call up visions of dirt, patchouli oil, and bad pot. A distorted sample of Terrence McKenna may open the record, but kick in the rhythms and keyboards, and let the progressive house unwind, quick and kicking, with "Prana." The overall air of spacey samples and sonics at once give the band its identity and renders it more than a little jokey -- frankly, George Clinton pulled that whole scam off with more skill. But Eat Static still know the way around beats and Abduction is generally enjoyable, not as distinct and truly gone as the Orb but more interesting that it would seem on first blush. Muzzein wails and the like were already passé by the time this surfaced, but it's a good case for recombining obvious elements, builds and fills into a reasonable end product as any. At its best, Abduction fuses ambient/new age traces -- the whale song into strange flutes of "Kalika" or the various snippets of sci-fi movie dialogue throughout -- with sharp, slamming beats that don't sound watery or Johnny-come-lately in the slightest. "Forgotten Rites" is a definite highlight, building slowly up piece by piece in intensity, the use of differing drum styles and loops aiming for an almost tribal-level of experience before shooting up and out even higher halfway through.

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