Various Artists

The Space Project

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Concept compilation album The Space Project gathered together 14 indie-leaning bands of various styles and offered them the challenge of creating a song built at least in some way on sounds transmitted from NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 satellites, floating in deep space billions of miles from Earth. Most of the music on The Space Project doesn't take an incredibly literal approach to the concept. Mellow psych wanderers the Holydrug Couple weave the sounds of vast cosmic emptiness in as a washing texture in the middle of their grooving submission "Amphitrites Lost." The rhythmic pulses that begin Anna Meredith's synth symphony "Miranda" sound broadcast in from the abyss, but don't get in the way of the song's melodic statement. Beach House's glowing "Saturn Song" stands out, beginning with a cold galactic wash before warming more and more with vocal harmonies and bright organ tones. Excellent contributions show up from Spiritualized, Blues Control, and former Lungfish member Asa Osborne's minimal Zomes project, utilizing the sounds of space in the form of soft drifting ambience, ambitious chamber pop, and experimentally minded indie jamming. Youth Lagoon's heartsick "Worms" also stands above most, diving headfirst into a more traditional song structure instead of taking the slow-building approach of many of the other tracks. The wide range of styles and approaches to the unique concept of the collection keeps things lively and has a surprisingly high success rate. With few duds to speak of, The Space Project sees most of its contributors turning in high-quality material, interacting with the sounds of the unknown in inventive and inspired ways.

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