Space Music: Solar Metsys, Legowelt, Fever Ray

Computerized image of Venus' atmosphere, via the Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft, 1978. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

As winter rolls in, so too some new releases from a few Space Music favorites -- plus a really cool NASA-inspired musical project from TonicEmbark.

Up first, prolific Dutch artist Legowalt returns with “Legendary Freaks In The Trash Of Time,” an album that explores the varied corners of the Legowalt soundscape. Record label Clone describes the album as “music for misfits, witches, dreamers, cyberpunks, outsiders, geeks, and freaks” – and I think that’s a nice summation of Legowalt’s sound. He manage to occupy the futuristic synth space while also retaining a beat-driven, sweaty resonance that navigates us around the darker, inhuman trappings of electronic music. Have a listen and grab the album on Amazon, Spotify or wherever you grab your tunes:

I’ve been meaning to blog about the new Fever Ray album “Plunge” since its release back in October. It’s a fantastic album, resplendent in the sort of fay synthpop we’ve come to expect from Swedish musician Karin Dreijer. Lyrically, it’s a more ambitious album in its exploration of sexual, religious and political content. If nothing else, you may have stumbled across the video for “To the Moon and Back,” in which a cryogenically frozen Fever Ray awakens in a dystopian future and the attention of post-apocalyptic fetish enthusiasts. It’s something else, but don’t let it deter you from one of the year’s best pop albums. Stream it on Spotify or grab it wherever you buy your music. Here’s a taste:

Up next, TonicEmbark gives us “Solar Metsys,” a homage to the sounds of the solar system. Inspired by NASA sonifications, the duo of Jeremiah Petersen and Erik Aanestad created an ambient track for the sun and each major body in its orbit.

What’s more, the size of each track is relative to the sun, planet or planetoid’s actual size. “Jupiter” clocks in at 10 minutes and “Pluto” at a mere 10 seconds. They hope to cover the sun next, which Peterson suspects will clock in at more than 90 minutes.

You can explore the entire project on Soundcloud, or in this handy YouTube video:

Finally, Pye Corner Audio is set to release a new EP on Dec. 15 titled “Where Things Are Hollow.” It promises to be a mix of dark, ambient techno with diversions into more ambient and melancholic realms. I’ve been a fan of Martin Jenkins’ work for years and the PCA releases are frequent plays during my research and writing. Based on the track “Resist,” this new EP will be just the thing to transport us through the gloomy depths of winter’s passing. Stream it on Spotify or listen below:

Space Music is a continuous exploration of our expanding cosmos of sound, with an emphasis on electronic music. Sample a little of everything from past posts at the Space Music Sampler playlist on Spotify.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.