SKY CHASM - "Tycho Brahe"



C60 (Mistake by the Lake)

This new release is from synth band Sky Chasm, whose members are cassette luminary Andrew Kirschner, Tj Duke (Cloud Nothings) and Ben Gmetro. This recording bears the name of a 16th century astronomer, Tycho Brahe, and that is where we must begin. This music is a journey. It certainly has the ability to transport the listener into the heavens above, whose stars and bodies are not stationary in our own skies, as many astronomers of the time claimed, but fluid and always in motion, as Tycho Brahe observed.

Tycho Brahe. The name itself became important to me as I listened. With the point of reference being early astronomy, and the stars being studied - not through a telescope, but through the power of the naked eye alone, we find the journey into the great beyond largely untethered by technology. Certainly, the initial motions on Side A are created by repeating patterns of pure synth, which play against the beat that eventually drops for a pleasing and complex rhythm, which first invokes a fascination with space, and then a strong desire to go there, followed by the furious activity of industry that must bring us there, but the overall theme presented seems to be a passion. It is the drive to reach beyond our own limitations that pushes mankind to do what we dream. In the end, no real machine or technique is important, and perhaps we can reach that other plane more simply, within ourselves.

Eventually, the upper skies are reached, and the composition changes to let us know we have reached a new place. The destination becomes clear: not the moon, or some other nearby body, but a distant planet. A desert planet. Which leads us to side B, which is entitled Desert.

Now that we have landed on this distant point in the galaxy, a much more immediate surrounding comes into focus. This is an altogether different landscape than the one we left behind. Now, we are immersed in the experience of a place far removed from what we know.

There are scenes of unspeakable beauty here, as well as an ancient malevolence. As the story comes to its fullest meaning, we realize that the passion for living that carried us to this new landscape must now help us to survive the evil that lurks beneath its surface.

Just like the tenacious astronomer, Tycho Brahe - we must duel in the dark with our chosen adversary. Perhaps we will be victorious. Or we may perish. We may be gravely injured. The only certain thing is we must use all that we have learned, all of our collective experience to overcome this evil.

All the while, Tycho Brahe may very well be the soundtrack to that great adventure in the stars.