Slack Armada is the new solo project attributed to established experimental musician, James Hrabak.  This untitled EP is the first in a series of EPs he’s released on his site. A 4-track work, the EP takes a good look at past electronic music while using the current techniques and ambient tones of his contemporaries such as M83 and Mogwai.

Each track on the EP seems to embody a number of different styles.  There are no lyrics or vocals, and the movement of each track as its own piece depends solely on the storyboard of the music and the changes in pitch.  With very little drum tracks throughout each electronic song, a reconizable beat is sometimes hard to find, which will remind listeners of older experimental electronica from the 1980s.

The EP opens with “Rebirth,” a track which Hrabak has said in interviews signifies the rebirth of his musical sensibilities into a more ambient space.  The opening starts off with a single chord which seems very contemporaneous with M83, but also has a tone to it that is akin to some later Tangerine Dream.  This track also contains electric guitars and analog-timbred drums which brings it to an unexpected conclusion.  The second song, “Your Majesty,” is firmly rooted in 80s influence, with sampling tracks which sound very much like some of the old tube equipment from that era.  “Looper” is almost all rock guitar and conventional drums, spliced together to create an electronic track, and show the influence 90s grunge bnds like Helmet also have over Hrabak’s work.  The EP closes with “Escape Velocity,” which seems like a combination of all the above-mentioned styles, and it a perfect end to the musical history journey the EP has taken its audience on, as it swells and falls, swells again and then eventually fades into one warbling chord, much as the EP began.

The Slack Armada EP is available for sale on the Bandcamp website, with an open payment option (listeners can pay what they like), and it’s also available to stream on Slack Armada’s Soundcloud Page.   Listeners can also download the EP or favorite tracks on itunes here.  Click the widget above to get an exclusive stream from Ellenwood-EP of “Escape Velocity” from this new and dynamic EP.


Written By Layla Marino