- When JR Seaton started Call Super back in 2011, it was as a collaborative side project with Matt Waites—an addendum to solo work under his given name. Once Waites distanced himself from it, Call Super became Seaton's main concern. Over four increasingly excellent 12-inches, he's distilled his music down to an elegantly unrefined style techno full of three-dimensional textures both supple and rigid. Now comes Suzi Ecto, a more delicate record that dismantles his music entirely, leaving the constituent parts to dawdle and drift. More ambient than techno, there's an uneasy peace to Suzi Ecto. It's a humble album that seduces you rather than hit you over the head with its greatness.
Seaton delights in the innately unpredictable nature of hardware, and on Suzi Ecto, the tracks seem like bare frameworks he's laid down for the synths and drums to explore themselves. The album's basslines are tactile and warm, like they're feeling their way around. The same goes for the drums: on "Dovetail," they land in an almost calypso-like pattern, at odds with everything else, while "Hoax Eye" is a startling slice of techno with noisy outbursts that stick out three-dimensionally, like a children's pop-up book. These more physical moments are offset by new age-y chillout jams. Centrepiece "Raindance," full of gently lapping water sounds, Buddha Bar tablas and a baritone voice wearily intoning "see the rain," is the musical equivalent of someone trying to hold a conversation just as you're falling asleep.
For an artist who was on a very clear path, Suzi Ecto looks to the past as much as the future. Dedicated fans of Seaton will remember his early work—rubbery, wiggly and occasionally embellished with noodling horns. Clarinet and oboe (played by his father) appear here too, adding to the loungey nature of "Sulu Sekou"'s blissful meander, and giving penultimate track "Okko Ink" an exotic feel, like a techno version of Bowie's "Warszawa." The LP also features Seaton's most oblique productions yet, with plenty of detours into stationary, Actress-esque territory. The best of these is probably "Fold Again At Last," which sounds like standing inside of a synthesizer—hum-and-buzz all around you as switches fire and wires sizzle.
Arriving after the straightforward techno of Seaton's most recent single, Suzi Ecto feels like the equivalent of pitching a tent in the middle of a racetrack. But the way the album ends suggest it might only be a temporary encampment. Winding down with the tentative "Acephale I," antagonized by static and general hesitance, the gorgeous melody of the previously released "Acephale II" emerges triumphant at the song's end, a hint towards Seaton's more familiar work. And then, suddenly, it disappears in a flurry of noise that sounds like a tape being chewed up, sending us back to reality and making Suzi Ecto out to be one exquisite daydream.
03. Sulu Sekou
04. Hoax Eye
06. Fold Again At Last
08. Rosso Dew
09. Coney Storm Drain
10. Okko Ink
11. Acephale I