Boomkat Product Review:
Grails' Zak Riles follows his 2008 solo debut with a cinematic suite of '70s/'80s new age/prog workouts, using a bunch of classic synths and proper analog equipment alongside saz, oud and a 12-string acoustic guitar.
Featuring a guest appearance from Slint's Britt Walford on drums, 'Earthwave' is an album that's out of time. An engineer by trade, Riles has assembled some of his favorite gear to craft a loveletter to the glory days of analog electronic music, and if you're into latter day revivalists like Zombi or Sinoia Caves, there should be something in here for you. Riles doesn't try to mask his proggy inclinations; while he cites early new age music as a reference point, the album doesn't fit into that category too neatly. His compositions are bombastic and busy, filled with lavish instrumentation and studied complexity - tracks like 'Human Interference' and 'The Creeper' are more like themes you'd hear repeated over gory death scenes in an Italian giallo movie or US video nasty.
His solo music isn't a million miles from the sounds Grails have been excavating in the last few years, and if you're motivated by the growing throng of vintage soundtrack enthusiasts, then there'll be something in here for you.