Cornish cosmic relaxation institution Seahawks return to Cascine for a fresh suite of voyaging Balearica, tinged with ocean mist, astral dub, and artificial intelligence: Infinite Echo. Helmed by perennial co-captains Jon Tye (founder of Lo Recordings) and Pete Fowler (acclaimed Welsh visual artist), their latest collection emerged from a series of scraps and vignettes informed by a breadth of eclectic chillness (mid-80’s digital new age in the Higher Octave vein, Michael McDonald remixed by Oneohtrix Point Never, etc.), then fleshed out with Lyra Pramuk’s Siren Songs app and Holly Herndon’s Holly+ software, rendering it choral, otherworldly, and “emotional in a new kind of way.” The results sound elevated and ineffable, like music heard at the edge of dreams, hinting at worlds yet to come.
Tye describes the album’s mood as “anti-dystopian,” thematically inspired by a range of recent reading and research, from prescient science fiction novels to Mindar the Buddhist robot (whose voice features on beatific opener, “Beams Of Love”) to philosophical treatises on computers as the gateway to immortality. Despite the technological innovations at play, the record’s 10 tracks rank among some of the most overtly emotive in the group’s decade-plus discography, lush and longing and panoramic. Soprano sax, synths, and snippets of heavenly voice emerge from the Holly+ neural network with a sublime spatial quality, sat atop low-slung bass and kosmische metronomes like coastal clouds dissipating at sunset. Tye’s take is appropriately psychotropic: “Ultimately it’s more DMT than marijuana.”
Further production and mastering duties were handled by New York indie fixture Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Beach House), who modeled his work on Boards Of Canada’s memory labyrinth masterpiece, Music Has The Right To Children. This surrealist wavelength manifests vividly in Claudia Rafael’s smeared synthetic artwork, generated via AI software from photographs of the beach below where the album was mixed.
There’s also a unique sense of intentionality to Infinite Echo, connected to their notion of “reciprocal vibrations.” (Not for nothing is the LP dedicated to the recently departed “father of mindfulness” Thích Nhất Hạnh). These songs were born of a belief in beauty as a law of motion, radiating a reaction that carries on like a butterfly effect. Regardless of where or how this music is heard, within it are seeds of transformative positivity, to be embraced, absorbed, or shared as befits the needs of the listener. This isn’t new age, it’s the only age.