Album of the Week: The 7th Plain – Chronicles I

Who is The 7th Plain: Luke Slater’s Ambient moniker.
What is Chronicles I: A collection of collected material The 7th Plain’s archives.
What does it sound like: Sweet melodic and cinematic tracks that could easily have scored the next Blade Runner film.

Luke Slater’s discography is a vast cornucopia of Techno’s most extensive possibilities extending from his honorific moniker to the better known Detroit-focussed excursions of his Planetary Assault Systems alias on labels like Peacefrog and his own Mote-Evolver. Laying dormant however throughout the extended discography was The 7th Plain, that was until Ostgut Ton’s newly established sub-label A-TON got into Mr Slater’s archive and found what might be more than an album’s worth of material, if Chronicles I is indeed the first in a series as the title suggests.

Unlike the industrial, sound-designed focus ambiences we’ve come to expect from artists like Kobosil on Ostgut Ton, The 7th Plain favours more resolving melodic excursions, leaving all the tension behind as synthesisers create willowy padded textures. Slater creates lush dreamscapes that drift off into some unknown dimension, never quite disappearing into the background as the sweet melodic textures give the passive listener something to continually hold on to. There’s something of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works to the album and perhaps even hints at the age of some of this music, but like that classic Twin album, Chronicles I has a timeless quality to it. There are percussive moments throughout the album, but it relies more on an emotive component than a functional one, and works as well on a home stereo as a full-blown Funktion One system. It’s a remarkable work from Slater, one that will surely be an instant classic, and you only have to listen to it once  to understand why.