Ellis Island Sound - 'Divisions'

Hot on the heels of their critically revered 2014, Krautrock-meets-Afrobeat longplayer Regions, Ellis Island Sound's Pete Astor and David Sheppard return with a brand new, seven-track mini-album.

Inspired by the main flow of Regions, the new record is another fertile marriage between motorik Mitteleuropapulse and subtropical guitar and percussion textures. This time, however, the emphasis is less on throbbing, Neu!-beat-propelled blow-outs and more on intricate, highly melodic arrangements for guitars, keyboards and tuned percussion, with a spacious sound palette propelled by polyrhythmic marimbas and xylophones and layered with infectious lead lines and choral vocals – the latter sourced by Astor and Sheppard from dusty archive recordings and manipulated into subtle, stirring descants on several tracks.

Reference points might be the Penguin Cafe Orchestra's 'Cutting Branches For A Temporary Shelter', Cluster's Sowiesoso LP, Steve Reich's Counterpoint compositions or the juju pop of 'King' Sunny Ade, with EIS taking such implicit influences and moulding them into shapes that are distinctive and very much to their own design, a modus operandi that the gentlemanly duo have deployed for the duration of their unhurried but enduring 18-year-long career to date.