April 12, 2011
Eclectic Mixup: Celebrating 50 years in Space…
Today (April 12th, 2011) marks the 50th anniversary of young Russian Yuri Gagarin’s journey into outer-space, making him the first human to do so. In honour of 50 years in space, here’s a few tunes VERY loosely related to all things out of this world. Obviously there are thousands of other tracks that could potentially make this list, many of which I had to turn down. Please feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
[ATTENTION: THERE WILL BE NO MENTION OF BABYLON ZOO WITHIN THIS POST (except for this one). THANK YOU]
A few jazz cuts to start with, seeing as a lot of post-trad and freer end of the genre’s spectrum seems to be concerned with the wider universe (namely, the word ‘astral’ crops up a lot, and there are numerous 25-minute plus songs about interstellar travel and Sun gods etc). Pharaoh Sander’s Astral Travelling, Lonnie Liston Smith’s In Search of Truth (from album Astral Travelling), Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, and Moondog’s Bird’s Lament.
The Lee Perry produced, Max Romeo voiced I Chase the Devil (which includes the space-relevant lines about sending Satan to outer space), a much-sampled reggae classic from the singer’s 1976 classic War Ina Babylon.
Featured on EE before on a previous mixup, any excuse to post up the brilliantly rampaging Africa Space Program by Nacho Patrol will be taken.
Just a couple of hip-hop tracks for the list (there could be quite literally hundreds more). The Roots’ Universe at War, and Dr. Octagon’s Earth People.
Back to the fantasy end of space, with Alien Observer from Oregon ambient fiend Grouper, who has just released twin albums. This is the title track from one of these.
Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my soft spot for Björk, the Icelandic pixie having popped up on more than one mixup in the past. Here she is representing the planets, along with German electro-funsters Mouse on Mars.
Time for a bit of star-gazing. Air’s Kelly Watch the Stars (which comes from the equally relevant Moon Safari), Starkey’s self-explanatory Stars, and Plain English from sadly disbanded indie-rockers Seachange, taken from the unreleased Stars Whiteout album.
Kurt Vile can do no wrong in my mind right now. Thankfully I could find a reason to put him in another post, with the chiming chords of Beach on the Moon (Recycled Lyrics). He’s joined by another EE favourite, White Hinterland, with Moon Jam from last year’s outstanding Kairos album.
To end with, a couple of tracks in tribute to Gagarin himself (unimaginatively just about Russians), with The Bees’ The Russian, and Ella Fitzgerald’s beautiful Russian Lullaby.