Circuit Sweet Introducing

Introducing Slack Armada

January 5, 2014


Artist: Slack Armada
Location: Chicago, IL
Styles: Post-rock, Ambient, Shoegaze, Electronic
Similar to: Four Tet, Boards of Canada, Mogwai, Broken Social Scene, Tortoise, My Bloody Valentine
CD: Slack Armada EP
Release date: 10/4/13

Sonic adventurer James Hrabak is in the midst of a musical revival with his new project Slack Armada, a solo effort that embraces ambient, post-rock, electronic, downtempo, and shoegaze music with an emotionally rich and uncompromising feel.

Hrabak’s musical path started on outer realms of indie rock via shoegaze and noise-rock, but was dormant for many years. James sees Slack Armada as the reawakening of a creativity that would not die. “There was an aligning of the planets,” the Chicago-based composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist says with a chuckle. “For me, this project feels a lot like waking up, like a rebirth.”

Musically recharged, and emboldened by the creative communities popping up due to the advent of social media, Hrabak returns to his artistic continuum with the self-titled debut from Slack Armada. The EP is an epic all-instrumental offering that recalls the transcendent textures and dynamics of artists such as My Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, and Mogwai. One instantly recognizable distinction from these aforementioned artists is Hrabak’s use of beats as a primary compositional tool, building soundscapes with melodic dynamics around glitchy grooves.

The four-track Slack Armada EP uses melodies and dramatic textures to convey an expressive narrative in lieu of singing. “The absence of vocals wasn’t a conscious decision at the beginning,” Hrabak explains. “As I was building up the tracks, I thought ‘Maybe I can make the music speak to somebody without the additional guide of a human voice.’ I wanted to let the listener be transported with fewer guideposts.”

Slack Armada will progress as an EP-only artistic dialogue releasing diverse but conceptually focused experimental music. Upcoming, Hrabak will be issuing an EP of Slack Armada vocal music. “This debut is a great foundation for what’s to come.” Hrabak says, reflecting back. “I have so much music cooking now – and I’m very excited about what’s coming next.”

Slack Armada EP
1. Rebirth
2. Your Majesty
3. Looper
4. Escape Velocity


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