Anyone who's seen Shackleton play live recently won't be surprised by the bright timbres of "Freezing Opening Thawing." The 11-minute title track takes the chintzy instrumentation of The Drawbar Organ and builds on the idea, daubing his signature basslines with staccato mallet melodies. It's less ritualistic and more psychedelic than before, charging forward with an aggression that also feels new, not quite the sprawl of his more recent work nor the loopy madness of his oldest material.
But most striking of all is the EP's artificiality. The release is said to place a newfound emphasis on synthesis rather than sampling, and each track is layered with glowing space-age sounds. Though it's subtler on the title track, the otherwise straightforward "Silver Keys" is overrun by a heady synth breakdown that feels like aliens coming down for an abduction. "White Flower With Silvery Eye" hearkens back to his classic period, but even this one is glazed with implacable sounds. With its birdcalls and animal noises, it's like a trip into the heart of the jungle.