Planetarium Music

Traditional Psychedelic Electronic Music

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Alex Bundy's solo project away from Yume Bitsu lets him indulge a combined fascination for subtly aggressive, instrumental Krautrock inspirations and equally noticeable ambient backgrounds, as the second Planetarium Music album exquisitely shows. Fully living up to its title -- and indeed, as time goes on, the innovations of electric music become the traditions of future generations -- the seven-song set explores free-flowing feedback overdubs, soothing, bottomless drones, and more, often achieving a striking balance between extremes. Seemingly conventional drone pieces like "Another World" and "Annual" add just a little bit more to the proceedings -- a slowly rising feedback squall here, an extra melody (of sorts) or lurking bass part there -- to become evolving, ever-changing songs. Nothing quite resembles what it started out as, a good sign that Bundy likes to not only challenge listener expectations but freely invite them along for the ride. "Terrible," for instance, far from being that (or alternately just a noise-fest), resembles the meditations of Fripp & Eno or percussionless Harmonia, but with much more activity and extra parts, its energy then slowly dissipating into a final moan. If there was a need to create extra music for Blade Runner, that one song alone could do the trick. There's similar e-bow action on "Tribute" -- perhaps a telling title -- which carefully evolves toward a conclusion with swirling metallic tones like strange bird cries. Though much of the disc tends to be seemingly low-impact, the concluding "Metal" really lets the distortion fly in ways that Ash Ra Tempel and Can could be proud of. Firing up with a blurred, heavily flanged guitar blast, it still stays true to the spirit of the album thanks to the low-key tones that cut through the mix, resulting in a wonderful synthesis.

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