Jeff Mills

Free Fall Galaxy

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Free Fall Galaxy is the ninth chapter of The Sleeper Wakes, an ongoing saga of albums by Detroit techno pioneer Jeff Mills. His work has always been heavily influenced by science fiction and futurism, and when he composed a score for Fritz Lang's groundbreaking 1927 silent film Metropolis in 2000, it was just the beginning of his conceptual exploration rather than a culmination. He's recorded other scores since (including one for another Lang film, Woman in the Moon), and with his Sleeper Wakes albums, he crafts his own story which loosely revolves around themes such as alien communication and interdimensional travel. Mills describes the Free Fall Galaxy as a "cosmic menace," and that venturing through it is a feat of survival as one confronts the unknown. The album is a suspenseful journey through the cosmos, traversing through alien textures and manic pulsations. As with many of his albums and soundtracks, this disc tends to be more atmospheric and ambient than his straightforward techno releases. Only a handful of tracks ("Solar Crossroads," "Rabid Star Clusters," "Tri-Angularism") feature constant 4/4 beats, and they feel more like interludes compared to some of the album's lengthier explorations. Some of the slower tracks are wonderfully dazed, especially the supremely trippy "Spectroscopic." The 17-minute "Entering (The Free Fall Galaxy)" is a miniature sci-fi epic on its own, connecting several starry, weightless movements with short bursts of static and attempts at interplanetary radio communication. While Mills has written some of the most iconic club tracks of all time (especially the immortal "The Bells"), his ambitious full-lengths and scores have been some of his most accomplished works, and Free Fall Galaxy is yet another testament to his genius.

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