John Tanner’s debut under the Eleventeen Eston moniker, Delta Horizon, was released digitally, and as a super-limited run of 100 cassettes back in 2014. Moonboots recommended it to me (John ended up recording a track for Moon`s Aficionado label), and when writing what passed for a review back then I described it as “the best thing Not Not Fun has put out since Peaking Light`s 936“. The album now gets a much needed larger, and vinyl, run care of the Growing Bin.
The music’s been given a remaster. So gone is the hiss, lo-fi granularity, and the tendency towards treble. Replaced by a polished sheen and significant bottom-end. But the songs of course still harken after 80s Pop. At the time John said he didn’t want to get weighed down with nostalgia. That, instead, he was trying to capture the optimism of the FM radio hits of his youth. In this respect comparisons to Luke Wyatt’s similar Teen Hawk project stand. The homage to a generation shaped by 16-bit home computers and MTV also shares something with Kai Hugo`s Palmbomen.
Two Stroke Vertical Climb races along like the young hearts navigating Pat Benatar`s (Love Is A) Battlefield. Popping and locking with Toni Basil. She-bopping with Cyndi Lauper. The chiming wide-open spaces of fusion shapes made by Andy Summers on The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta, and Johnny Marr`s jangle – they`re both in there. Run forwards and backwards. Guitar is definitely John’s primary machine. But while on 2018`s At The Water it`s used to make a techno of complex percussive electric counterpoint, here it chops out angular New Wave riffs. Six-string auteurism that feeds Steely Dan / Doobie Brothers “yacht rock” through the laidback electro-boogie of Mandre IV.
Influenced by Beppe Loda`s Afro and Daniele Baldelli`s Cosmic, John`s more Ambient moments feature fretless bass-lines and / or a Vangelis-esque low-end throb. Panulirus Cygnus echoes Robin Guthrie and The Cocteaus. Decisive Winds emerges from a Hassell / Eno / Michael Brook Fourth World fog.
You can order a copy of Eleventeen Eston`s Delta Horizon directly from The Growing Bin.