REVIEW: Spacescape – “Ex-Plor-A-Tion”

By Christopher Eissing

Chain Border

Ex-Plor-A-TionSpacescape has created a well-recorded and engineered album. It is musically sound, but does not deviate too much from what has come before and could be considered derivative of earlier works by artists that have long since had their day. In the realm of dance/trance where there are so few standouts, it is a welcome addition. Not a lot of ground is broken, but then again trance often falls victim to repetitive themes under stabs of overlaid sound or snippets used to break the monotony.

Order Within Chaos, moves through subtle changes under the echoed title words transposed with a vocoder. It establishes a theme of the album in using soundscapes laced with synth-created sounds that mimic clichéd sci-fi sounds effects. There are some interesting uses of preverb and off-rhythm in Peace and Love. The vocals fail in execution and phrasing, having difficulty finding tune. Overall this is very standard and sounds like it should be the backdrop for the dance remix of a far more popular tune.

Ressurection Drone is a nice trance piece. The female vocals breathe life into what is a standard trance backdrop. The Nine Planets is not my favorite piece off the album because it is the shortest. It uses less and accomplishes more. It is simple and the meaning is delivered concisely and is not lost in the search for a greater musical tapestry. A standout on the piece is Project Blue Book. A standard dance track with .wav’s dropped on top of a dance rhythm and broken up by spacey sounds out of a 50’s B-movie. It covers all the bases of a standard electronica tune.

Ripley’s Spawn tickles me for its legacy sound. Not since the analog days of Moog and ARP have such sounds graced recording. Its resonant square waves counterpoint the bass line and make it a cutting edge soundtrack piece. For Logan’s Run. Way Out There is anything but. Fat vocoder growls and synth lines over a hi-hat driven rhythm pull this piece along. The melody and sub-melody repeat among sound effected stabs, varying more in patch than application.

Spacescape has produced a competent trance/dance album. In a genre that does not put a premium on traditional applications of musical constructs like movements, bridges, or classical variation, it can hold its own. Individual songs lose themselves in the shuffle for the most part, with standout moments peppered throughout.

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