- A deeply musical yet accessible LP that echoes artists like Suzanne Kraft, Vini Reilly and John Martyn.
- Chill-out is back. In 2018, much of the best chill-out music is created by musicians who have a handle on guitars and delay pedals as well as drum machines and synths. Check out, for instance, the Melody As Truth releases by Suzanne Kraft and Jonny Nash, the latter's Gaussian Curve project with Young Marco and Gigi Masin, or SoCal weirdos such as E Ruscha V and Scott Gilmore. It's a heady milieu, requiring deep musical knowledge as well as solid hardware chops, both of which Eleventeen Eston delivers in spades on his new album, At The Water.
The product of a bubbling scene in Perth, Australia, Eleventeen Eston's closest analogue is likely Suzanne Kraft, AKA Diego Herrera, in that he's as likely to make contemplative new age (as part of Wilson Tanner) as he is pad-heavy leftfield house, as Hugo Gerani. When looking for a home for his solo work, Eleventeen Eston, real name John William Tanner, initially connected with Not Not Fun from Los Angeles, which might as well be the de facto home for the breezy genre (Ruscha, Herrera and Gilmore all have roots there).
While his debut album, Delta Horizon, was akin to the hypnagogic pop of the late '00s, At The Water, released on the Hamburg label Growing Bin, is a far more developed affair, likely due to Tanner's own record digging, or at least an increased skill in translating disparate influences. "C In Sympathy" makes brilliant use of the delayed-guitar rhythm John Martyn was fond of in his '80s work. The ambient piece, "I Float, I Am Free," has wafts of druggy, faraway trumpet indebted to Jon Hassell. "2 D'Or (Cab Chassis)" meanwhile, floats in the ambient techno wake of Spacetime Continuum. The guitar on the closer, "Dory On Swan," echoes The Durutti Column's Vini Reilly.
At The Water sometimes hews close to the sort of influences that would get approving nods from the Red Light Records crowd or your average freeform NTS DJ. But Tanner isn't always that cool. That's why a track like "Where There Is Rain," which segues from ambient and new age into a Fleetwood Mac-esque groove, almost feels like a relief. It's one of many examples of Tanner's abundant ideas and effortless melodic gift, which will ensure At The Water's appeal to heads and casual listeners alike.
01. C In Sympathy
02. 2 D'Or (Cab Chassis)
03. East Perth Stories (Closing Title)
04. The Four Fountains
05. I Remember
06. Thread & Truth
07. I Float, I Am Free
08. A Squall, 1988
09. Where There Is Rain feat. Ystic
10. Sand Man
11. Dory On Swan