The 7th Plain - Chronicles I

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  • Chronicles I arrives soon after a recent series of Luke Slater reissues. In July, Mote-Evolver released their second Planetary Funk 22 Light Years EP, which finds old Planetary Assault Systems tracks bulked up with fresh remixes. Chronicles I, as the title implies, is also an ongoing project, this time for Ostgut Ton's new sub-label A-TON. This series revolves around Slater's short-lived ambient project, The 7th Plain. In between Slater's suck-it-and-see exploits on his own Jelly Jam Records and signing to bigger labels like Mute, he produced some of his most influential music on Peacefrog, including the X-Tront and Planetary Funk series. Tracks like "Metal Head," "Moave Violin," "Starway Ritual" and "Cutting Roland" from this period were fast, furious techno. There were deeper moments as well, but the bulk of Slater's dreamscapes were served up on General Production Recordings as The 7th Plain. Between '93 and '96, that included a handful of EPs and two albums (there was a third, which never made it past the test-pressing stage), from which "Boundaries," "Grace" and "Surface Bound" have been gleaned. The rest of Chronicles I is all previously unheard archive material. Slater's driving, paranoid remix of Ken Ishii's "Extra" first appeared on an R&S single of the same name in '95, and here we get a cool, classicist IDM reinterpretation from The 7th Plain. The spooky and intense "The Super 8" is a highlight, as is "T Funk States," which adds some club sensibility to Chronicles I. "Slip 7 Sideways" shifts gears towards something like groggy hip-hop, while closer "Chords Are Dirty" is sketchy and beatless, with just a few dense key changes. Chronicles I unravels somewhat towards the end. Before "T Funk States," the album felt like entering a dream state, with every track working as a piece of the same introspective puzzle. "T Funk States" continues in that vein but it’s also jarring, and things don't settle again until the album's serene closer. Still, as an introduction to the series, Chronicles I is a sublime dive into Slater's long-lost music.
  • Tracklist
      01. Boundaries 02. Ken Ishii - Extra (The 7th Plain Remix) 03. Grace 04. Surface Bound 05. The Super 8 06. T Funk States 07. Slip 7 Sideways 08. Chords Are Dirty