Eats Lights Become Lights – Modular Living

So: if you like modulated synth patterns that hark back to a sort of (imagined) utopian era of cosmic rock, especially ‘73-77, you’ll eat this up. (Rocket Girl)

I wonder, I wonder… is this the same bunch that made the Kosmischer Läufer LP? Is this the Trickster revealed? There are bits on Modular Living that sound identical to that particular great white hoax. The key pattern (and sound) on the opening two cuts here, the title track and MOD-ULO-510, (and the dinky melody on 13th Looking South) are particularly suggestive. If not, then someone’s been flogging a job lot of Kraut-style synths round music land.

No matter, this is a very fine record, full of long, melodic meditations; a record that looks to pick up that Spaceman vibe and hotwire it into venerable wizards like Rodelius, or Manuel Göttsching’s solo stuff, or even  or stuff like TG’s / Chris and Cosey’s softer work. So: if you like modulated synth patterns that hark back to a sort of (imagined) utopian era of cosmic rock, especially ‘73-77, you’ll eat this up. You’ll enjoy the LP’s sense of balance too; vocals barely (but effectively) used and guitars adding weight and counter harmonies when appropriate. It’s a listen that, despite some deep journeys into inner space, feels as light as a feather.

It’s SUCH a blissed-out listen at times that there seems little point in reviewing further; outside of saying that there are a proliferation of tracks that consist of, or contain long passages of, treated key loops and feedback. But trust me it’s damned enjoyable and it can get symphonic at times; the music content to bask in its own radiance. 13th Looking South boasts a loose, serpentine groove that wraps itself around your head whereas the Charley Brown plod of Rowley Way Overlook could be a cut from Another Green World or Sowiesoso. Things get trippier still with the weightless S3/Gong/Glide vibe conjured up on tracks Los Feliz To Griffith and Life In The Sprawl.  Then we have Chiba Prefecture which is one of the highlights of Modular Living, the metronomic beat serving as a platform for all sorts of silken harmonies and guitar frippery. It’s at this point that the record really blossoms, the rest being a sort of prelude to get you as far out there as your psychic defences can allow. Now cast adrift, your job as listener becomes one of supplicant, nodding along to the brisk tempo of Electromagnetika and being gently anaesthetized by the somnolent, Siren-like harmonies of Habitat '67. You could be in the Korova milk bar with this last one.

It’s Kosmische, my fellow Jokers!