A direct follow-up to Vinyl Dial’s fantastic release, Space Wizard, this EP adds more to the story told through dramatically composed electronic sound.
Andross 5225 - “Andross 5225”
With a warbling vintage electronic sound like the opening credits of an 80s classroom science class VHS about the wonders of space, Andross 5225 is a sweet slice of outer-space future retro. Set in a distant future where artificial intelligence guides travelers on their tour of the galaxy, each selection of Andross 2055 is teeming with fuzzy synths and satisfyingly crunchy rhythms. So, take your protein pills, and put your helmet on - this far out oddity will take you to the stars and back.
After the straightforward opening credits of 5225, strap in with Space Voyage, a track that has all the optimistic hope of unknown sights on the distant starry horizon. This is the kind of music that makes me truly believe that Pluto is really still a planet after all. (I’m not ready to part with My Very Excellent Mother Just Made Nine Pizzas.) The third track, Corrupted AI, introduces a dramatic problem. Up to this point your robotic pilot has taken care of everything and the journey has been smooth sailing - but now something is wrong. Probably a virus.
Incoming Transmission is a super funky track that lets us know that rescue is on the way. In fact, the transmission is SO funky and jams SO hard, that you’re not even worried about being stranded in space. Cue chair dance! After being picked up by the freaky funkadelic aliens, take a tour of their bizarre alien craft in the vaporious track - Inside. After some hijinx with the alien crew and the completion of our galactic tour, we finally learn some sort of heartfelt lesson about the meaning of true life being love, or some mess like that - in the track, Stardust. And with that, the journey is over.
Overall, Andross 5225 is a lighthearted and enjoyable bit of space-themed vaporwave that entertains without overstaying its welcome or overusing audio gimmicks. There is a good variety of styles contained in the movement of the release, and a narrative is successfully conveyed in a pleasant way.
The cassette edition of Andross 5225 is sold out, but the digital is still available, meaning you can take your very own space journey right now.
valyri - “Expanses”
Longform electronic explorations of untold universes that exist beyond our feeble perceptions find a home in this patient and vast recording, Expanses. Comprised of six extended tracks that carry the mind of the listener away from earthly patterns and lift toward the myriad of heavens above, this latest release from dark ambient/ experimental drone artist valyri is nothing short of a metaphysical journey to endless non-corporeal realms of astronomical grandeur.
Expanses begins with Pseudologue sequv.6, formed from a rapidly cycling synth pattern, imbued with a brightness and wide open freedom that envelopes the listener in spiraling tunnels of light, firing across the kaleidoscope of space at immeasurable speeds. The next movement in this space symphony is Brokensun recognition (phase silhouette,) a heady arrival in a timeless zone of eternity, transported slowly by drifting ambient clouds of glowing energy. Different depths of mood pass across the starry vastness, from euphoric jubilation, to shadowy ruminations, but all energies lead to the central energized core of this epic - a dissolving of place and time.
It is the removal of where-ness that truly characterizes this release. From the sweeping and grandiose opening overtures to the detailed sorrows of a thousand drifting, lonely souls in Disappointment Theme, to the haunted piano soliloquy that melts into a buzzing mechanical afterlife in the closing track Music for Dysgnosia, valyri steers the voyage as a skilled traveler, guiding the listener from one existence to another.
Stephen Hawking once said, “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit,” and Expanses illustrates the endless possibilities that await the spirit no longer tethered to the base concerns of earthly life.
To expand your reach beyond valyri’s latest production, she invites you to explore a greater universe with a subscription to her full calalogue:
somesuprises - “Alt”
(Doom Trip Records)
Alt is a three-song EP that feels like an album, due to the dreamy, endless feel and tight musical prowess of Seattle band, somesurprises.
The opening track Low on Sleep morphs from a lighter than air pop hit with smooth harmonies, gauzy guitar, and a driving fuzzed-out bass line into a wide-open hypnotic jam that transports the listener to a destination unknown. There, they are greeted with the second track, Paolo and Francesca, which delivers echoy guitars in a psychedelic island setting, replete with organ accents, and a trancelike vibe.
The title track closes the EP. Alt is a nine minute jammer, with charging bass and drums, and plucked out 90s guitar which soars wide across the track in crashing waves of thick reverb. A soaring guitar solo sails on the wind high above the mix, eventually dissolving into the swirling rhythms below.
Once the spell breaks, the listener awakens from the dream - realizing that ony a few minutes have passed. That is the power of Alt.