Album Review by Mark Bayross
Ellis Island Sound is the duo of The Weather Prophets and The Wisdom Of Harry’s Pete Astor and David Sheppard (who has his own project called State River Widening – what is it with these electronic-acoustic band names?). This self-titled debut album collects together highlights from the duo’s earlier singles, alongside various remixes and rarities.
So, from early moments like REPUBLICA EVESCARRA, RAUCH STUFF and SIX SHOOTER ANNEX, to their recent – unrecognisable – remixes of Regular Fries’ CYANIDE and the Manic Street Preachers’ OCEAN SPRAY, this is laidback instrumental electronica of pastoral beauty, but little else.
Fortunately, there are moments to make you sit up and listen: the brooding twilight dub of HALF NELSON (an out-take from the ALL CITY EP and one of the two unreleased tracks here) evokes Massive Attack’s goosebump-inducing HEAT MISER; and VIG CHARM is blessed with some gratifyingly bizarre Autechre style noises.
But for the most part, this is unassuming mood music, blessed with moments of undoubted prettiness, but very few memorable ones.