- Arc Angel
- Artist: Planetary Assault Systems
- Format: 12" Single
- Release Date: 9/30/2016
Luke Slater returns to Ostgut Ton with a Planetary Assault Systems album titled Arc Angel. Staying true to the project's initial mission statement, Slater comments on the new yet familiar musical direction: "For me, music has to go forward. I'd feel I was cheating by sticking to tried-and-tested formulas." With Arc Angel, Planetary Assault Systems departs to new musical frontiers by focusing on melody, but staying rooted in the purist values of techno. While the album title may sound like a reference to spiritual matters, it hints to rather secular affairs. Arc Angel is a postmodernist, non-comfortist techno album first and foremost. In the tradition of Slater's previous albums with Ostgut Ton - The Messenger (OSTGUT 010LP/020CD, 2011) and Temporary Suspension (OSTGUT 004LP/009CD, 2009) - it's musical motifs radiate around polymorphic and extraterrestrial sounds, using contemporary instrumental language, but with an emphasis on compatible musical phrases. "With this album it was very much a case of limitation and focus around the idea of alternative melody," Slater says, "I love music that takes you somewhere new. All music for this album had to pass that test. At the same time I wanted to re-root the foundations of what I see as techno into that and focus on melody, rather than a track just being a beat." While there are nods to the past, Arc Angel aims for the future. There's shimmering sounds reminiscent of light beams being fired ("Tri Fn Trp"), pulsing signals in deep space ("Angel Of The East", "Sonar Falls", "Groucho") and rather harsh aesthetics ("The Last Scene"). It's melodic range includes hypnotic arrangements ("Merry Go Round", "Blue Monk"), distorted bells ("Revolution One"), rainbow noise and spatial effects - for the most part meshing with heavy kick drums ("Message From The Drone Sector", "The Rider"), sometimes using reduced beat patterns ("Max"), at times turning to repetitious loops, analog synth pads and alienated vocal bits ("Interlude 1 to 6"). Despite it's musical richness, all gear had to fit onto a small table. "I love software, hardware, technology; but because we have almost endless choice of sound creating devices, it drove me to using very limited and focused equipment. Actually taking influences from the way an original blues guy... He has the guitar, the box and voice - I have the 909 and 808." Includes digital download of the single tracks and the continuous album mix.