Hello again! I’ve compiled a trippy mixtape for today, thinking of songs which were either written with space in mind – in the sci-fi sense, that is to say, as an eventually conquerable frontier – or would make great additions to a soundtrack for the would-be film, reading session or actual pilot, somewhere in the fathoms of the future.
The first track belongs to Canadian outfit Faunts, off their “M4” EP from 2006, but it’s been made famous by its inclusion on the Mass Effect game soundtrack, which was a perfect mach if I ever heard one. It’s followed by Massive Attack’s “Butterfly Caught”, from the “100th Window” album – a menacing, aseptic track of which I’ve written before, with great aplomb. Next, we have Movement III from Vangelis’ “Mythodea” from 2001 – a great work of modern classical music composed especially for the NASA missions to Mars. The blend of ancient modal melody and futuristic context is marked by wonderful contrast, and is followed ominously by “pioneer OOI” by Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, an odd mix of acoustic humanity and digital androidism, music for our love/hate relationship with technology. The darker mood deepens with Antimatter’s “God Is Coming” – a track marred by loneliness and paranoia, right before “Astrophobia” sets in, off of Tangerine Dreams’ album “Mars Polaris” – again, a record dedicated to Mars, Earth’s kin. To wrap up, we have “Alchemy”, by Johnny Hollow, a musical reminder that humanity will probably take its faults and delectable debauchery with it no matter where, no matter when. Lastly, Blind Willie Johnson’s forlorn blues masterpiece “Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)” closes the mixtape, just as the Voyager probe is leaving the solar system, carrying this very track through the endless, heartbreaking void. Enjoy!