Aside from an increase in fidelity and force, the three tracks on Shadow Boat have an immediate air of familiarity. From the first moments of the title track we're thrown back into Porter Ricks' nautical world. Classic tracks like "Port Of Call" always sounded stormy, and listening to "Shadow Boat" is like withstanding inclement weather on the open seas. The beat feels unstable, the chords wobble and whoosh, and those typically foamy synths feel like heavy waves lashing against a hull.
The flipside is a bit calmer, though not always less choppy. "Bay Rouge" bobs up and down at a slower pace, the nervy bassline and delay effects keeping it unsettled. The duo's sound design really comes alive: this might be conventional dub techno at heart, but the crackly, grainy sounds—and the delay chords, like an aluminium can popping open—create a world of uncanny detail. "Harbour Chart" is even slower and headier, like it's floating adrift after the storm, and full of more unexpected frequencies. Shadow Boat balances head-nodding rhythms and plunderphonic sound design as impressively as the duo's '90s records. It almost sounds as if no time has passed at all.