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Back to Earth...

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Album Review

On Back to Earth, Eat Static is down to a solo Merv Pepler project with, paradoxically, a high level of guest activity, including a serious chunk of Ozric Tentacles' entourage. Of course, the music always was and still is strongly tied to the Ozrics'. Pepler approaches techno just like the Ozrics approach space rock: generously, expansively, with lots of grooves and percussion, and a tendency to infuse the music with Indian and Arabic flavors. That's what happens on Back to Earth. It may not be original (actually, Eat Static has always been a step or two behind trends) but what Pepler does he does very nicely. The guest list includes Steve Everitt (who co-wrote a good part of this album), former Eat Static half Joie Hinton, space guitarist extraordinaire Steve Hillage, and Ozrics guru Ed Wynne, among others. After the straightforward left-field techno opener "Tuned Mass Damper," the album offers its first Oriental-tinged track, "Pharaoh." "Lo-Ride Sloucher" features some wicked synth work from Ed Wynne, while "Flippity Flippity" has a surprising Debussy-era Art of Noise atmosphere. This quartet of tracks forms a very strong first third, but "Epoch Calypso," an overtly and almost aggressively Latin track, throws the album off course. It takes a little time for things to pick up, but the last third, starting with the Hillage showcase "Dune Rider," features some strong contributions and compositions, especially the downtempo "Valley of the Moon," strongly reminiscent of the Ozrics' vintage softer tunes. Back to Earth is a long and uneven record, but it definitely has its good moments. Techno buffs will see it as retro, but Ozric Tentacles fans will feel at home. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Customer Reviews

They've come a long way...

I''ve been a fan of ES as far back as I can remember. Thier whole music evolution has had a lot of twists and turns from spacy out of this world to near drum and bass video game music. This album however really gives you that "We've come back to a future earth feel, kind of like a Fifth Element atomsphere. After a listen or two to the whole album you'll get addicted to it.

Back to Earth

This album is both sonically, in terms of layering and innovation, and rhythmically really remarkable and fascinating. This is global travel. From the first slightly space/techno style track it never lets up. The second delves mysteriously and effortlessly into a complex electronic, Desi Indian and Arabic middle eastern sound palette, like a Bourne Identity hide and seek marketplace chase scene. The strange choppy instrumental and vocal cut-ins throughout the tracks change pace, lifting the texture, and fabric of the listening experience ..which is richly and ridiculously entertaining. If you like varied styles, themes, and complexity, this may be for you. Track three seems inspired by Tron and Hackers, with richer, textured, and heavily low-end synthesized effects. Four gets into the relaxing jazz-like suspense of drums covered in a wandering quartet double-bass, lazy guitar, electric Rhodes and piano. Pink Floyd-like in how the track concepts hang together, five gets into Cuban, urban, Miami- Caribbean jazz brass beats populated with Santana riffs, acoustic and distant guitar leads, and occasional piano runs. Six is laid back with… heck If you’re not intrigued by now forget it

Back to Earth

I discovered this band while listening to Songza. The musical diversity is nothing short of amazing. I will be listening to this one for years to come. Thanks Eat Static!!!

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Frome, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s

A techno-based, UFO-obsessed side project of Ozric Tentacles' Merv Pepler (keyboards, drum patterns, samplers) and Joie Hinton (keyboards, samplers) along with synth player Steve Everitt, Eat Static formed in Frome, England in 1989. After making their initial appearances performing before and after Ozric shows, Eat Static issued their first few singles on their own Alien label before signing to Planet Dog, debuting with the album Abduction in 1993. The follow-up, 1994's Implant, proved so successful...
Full Bio
Back to Earth..., Eat Static
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