Indies And The Underground

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Slack Armada 'Slack Armada EP'

For those who prefer their electronic music with a side of ambiance and experimentation minus the now de riguer dub step breakdown,  Chicago-based artist James Hraback, better known as Slack Armada, offers an truly left-of-center alternative on his self-titled EP.

A musical cocktail of nocturnal electronic sounds ranging from shoegaze and ambient to grimy post-rock, the EP gets off to a subdued start with “Rebirth.” The track opens with slow, pared-down beat and effects twinkling in the background, which gradually getting louder until the whole thing opens up with a burst of fuzzy guitar distortion, before simmering down to low-key synths and drums. It brings to mind driving home after a long night out and watching the sun rise.

“Your Majesty” keeps the proceedings calm and meditative, creating an oceanic soundscape of deep textures in which ghostly voices, cinematic strings and pulsating samples interact with subtle, shifting rhythms. “Looper,” with its chugging power chords, bombastic drums and trippy, pitch-bending synths, livens things up, while  ”Escape Velocity” starts off with a low, rumbling bass, before unfurling into a massive sound wall.

If there’s a complaint to be made, it’s that the EP contains only four-tracks. Luckily, Hraback plans for Slack Armada to be the first of many EPs. Listen to it HERE.

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