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Drexciya's final album Grava 4 given its first vinyl pressing in thirteen years via Clone's Aqualung series, a timeless, late period classic that became the closing chapter of the Drexciya story.
Grava 4 found the duo of Gerald Donald and James Stinson exploring the deeper waters that lay between 1998's Neptune's Lair and 2002's Harnessed The Storm. Released amid the seven album storm cycle,a series of recordings that led us to the eternal classics such as Transllusion's The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate, Shifted Phases's The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope, Lab Rat XL's Mice Or Cyborg (please repress Clone!!) & of course the recently reissued Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café. Grava 4 finds the aquatic duo touching on the Warp centred electronics of artists such as Aphex Twin (who released various Drexciya related projects on his Rephlex imprint during their lifecycle) and a strong influence from the imprints sci-fi indebted Artificial Intelligence series. These currents flow strongly within Grava 4's underwater ambience, yet the focus of the duo here is purely on the outer reaches of celestial travel.
Across the eight track duration, there is a sombre ambience that clouds the atmosphere. From the opening seconds of Cascading Celestial Giants with its slowly dragging arpeggios that are lit up by the high above sparkling textures through to Powers Of The Deep with its lethargic synth stabs greatly adding to the moody sonics with a melancholy feel edging closer to the edge of the mix. The weightless dynamic pick up pace occasionally as onGravity Waves & Drexcyen Star Chamber with the tempo resonating with earlier recordings such as You Don't Know, yet the heaviness of the clouded sky to which we are hurtling threatens to crush us under the endless falling rain.
When Drexciya released Grava 4, they had set their sights on the stars above as opposed to the deepest corners of the ocean that they had previously occupied. This was cemented with the duo naming a star which is charted on the records iconic sleeve design "The star chart is authentic; you will be able to find the star by using the coordinations on the star chart. The planet Drexciya can be found in the international star vault in Switzerland & recorded in the astronomical compendium". Finding solace in the sky above, the album closes with a final transmission from thethe cerebral gate, a voice guiding us to "Use the star chart... plot your path back to Earth" these final seconds lay down the last piece of the Drexciyan puzzle and completing the voyage they first hinted at in 1995 with their Warp 12", pointing us in the direction towards the journey home.