Seahawks / Woo

Celestial Railroads

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Celestial Railroads is Seahawks' interpretation of the music of Woo, a similarly category-evasive duo who have been in the game for much longer, having started home recording in the early '70s. Seahawks' Jon Tye and Pete Fowler are credited with reconfiguration and additional production, while both Seahawks and the Woo brothers (Clive and Mark Ives) are listed as writing and producing all-original music, so the album seemingly blurs the lines between a remix record and a proper collaboration just as much as the two acts drift between styles such as ambient, new age, and Krautrock. Similar to the KLF's Chill Out, the album evokes a journey through countryside by railroad, with the clacking sounds of trains frequently whirring by, but this is relaxed and trippy in a different way, sounding far removed from a post-rave context. Pleasant guitar melodies curl around deeply soothing synth pads, all tuned into the frequencies of stars twinkling down upon the peaceful plains and gently trickling rivers. It's all reflective and unwind-able, but closer listens reveal the album to be much stranger than it might seem on the surface. The slow, stuttering drum machines and cosmic dust of "Travel Softly" verge on vaporwave, while the grainy loops and swaying guitars of "Distant River" form a sort of astral exotica. The slowed, fragmented voices of "Angelic Forces Unite" add a subliminal edge to the track's immersive synth washes, while the swirling arpeggios and crashing waves of "The Hearts Fandango" are exciting, comforting, and otherworldly all at once.

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