Sunday, February 14, 2016

Spacecraft - 1978 - Paradoxe


01. Lumiere De Lune (3:44)
02. Cosmic Wheel (10:32)
03. Chromatique One's (5:10)
04. Harabizant (9:37)
05. Ananda (2:48)
06. Surface (6:42)

Bonus track:
7. Pays De Glace (11:50)

- Yvan Coaquette / guitar
- John Livengood / machines

Paradox is the first and only album by a largely unknown French guitar/synth duo called Spacecraft, and the music on this album is a psyche-tronic mess. I'd put this somewhere between the loudest krautrock and the noisiest prog electronic.

The synth and electronic effects on this album are extremely bright and punchy in the mix, which makes for a slightly abrasive but very powerful kind of spacey feel when coupled with the echoing/hypnotizing psychedelic effects in the background. But, unlike most of the spacey electronic albums, this album sounds less like the atmosphere of space and more like the congested atmosphere from inside a spacecraft looking outwards toward the stars and planets. This sound is achieved from the electronics sounding very mechanical but within the context of a spacey atmosphere, whereas most prog electronic groups seem to do either one or the other.

The addition of the manipulated guitar gives this album a strong krautrock flavor as well, and I'm not sure if I'm correct but the guitar playing sounds to be mostly improvised. It's all done very well, but it does sound a bit German to me. Not that sounding German is bad, but I kind of hoped for something uniquely French, considering that the guitarist of this project was also a member of Clearlight (which sounds uniquely French, in my opinion). Of course, there is no France in outer space, or a Germany for that matter. The purpose of the electronic and krautrock genres were initially to create music that sounded like it was from the depths of space. With that in mind, this album definitely succeeds, and it is a very wonderful album of noisy, congested, mechanical space music.

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