Spacecraft - Cybersphere
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Spacecraft
Cybersphere

On their last release entitled Summer Town, Spacecraft put together music that served as music for a morning yoga session. It was one, long, mainly improvised piece and although it didn't work all the time, it definitely had moments that led me to believe that the group could pull off a lot more. This time around, the group composed music for two different sessions of planetarium viewing, and their music comes into its own even more, pulling together lots of different musical references and creating something that stands on its own quite well.

While their last release seemed to take it's time in progressing (perhaps it was just the nature of the 1, 60 minute track that added to this feeling), the group mixes things up well. Over the course of 10 tracks, the group stretches out and really lets things evolve slowly, sometimes only allowing one or two elements (there are five people in the band) play off one another before more elements start to gel together and get going, while at other points they get right into things with a shorter track. That happens especially in the first two tracks "Creative Acceleration" and "Anima-Machina," as they each start out guitars and drifting synths respectively. Soon, though, both tracks morph into almost Tangerine Dream sounding keyboard progression that flutter along quite nicely.

While it's really no more organic, the third track "Fragile" feels like it. Arriving after the two 11 minute plus tracks that start the release, the quiet 2 and a half minute track is primarily made up of twinkling chimes and a touch of guitar while synth swells swoosh in the background. Just as the title states, it's a delicate, but pretty track, and one of the nicest on the album. "Tunnel" also takes on a shorter length, but by coupling ethereal vocals with the pulsing synths, the group creates another hauntingly beautiful track.

One thing that the group has done even better with this release is created an even more rich set of textures. While several tracks do fall into sort of a Steve Roach-ish repetition of sound, Cybersphere is much more of a lush release than Summer Town. At some points, synths twinkle lightly along while a nice low-end synth helps to give the track a thicker backbone. While the release is also largely improvised, it feels a little more cohesive this time around. There are still some moments that linger a bit too long, but overall it's a nice step up for the group. If you like the artists mentioned above, you'd probably do well to check them out.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00