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Jesus on Mars – Jesus on Mars

Dissolving

As synthesized sci-fi goes, this does a really good job, drawing its inspiration from a Philip José Farmer novel of the same name.  That Seventies Panther pulp cover of scarred red and Space 1999 data font of the inlay warming you to this homage to those late ’60s/early ’70s explorations into the electronic unknown.  A distinct doff of the cap to Tangerine Dream‘s pioneering vision, this is like a Zeit/Alpha Centauri  hybrid, sans cello and oozing a great interplanetary vibe, all analogue whorls and ribbonised welds, a climbing helix of synth throwing out stark contrasts  to the jet-black vacuum of space.

It starts with a gentle dronic ambience, celestial waves trapped in undulating infinities. Half-heard murmurs eerily located outside the headphones, twisting with tapering whirly jigs and crystalline circuitries, sounds seemingly skimming the distorted portholes of some orbiting spacecraft looking down on the swirling rust storms below. By the second track “Martian Deserts of the Mind,” we’re choking on the jutting aberrations of the surface.  A landscape puckered in static spray and peaking modulated scribble, a physicality of cryptic data curdles and hazy telekinesis seeping through spluttering curtains of interference.

With “At the Dreaming Pole” the arid nature of the previous track is replaced by the short lived watery transmute, a fluid transaction of planktonised circuitry polarizing in semi-harmonies, a preface of sorts for the juicy chordic pulse of the next “Galactic Pot Healer.” A Popol Vuh/Ash Ra tentacle wrap of  gorgeous (simplistic) repetition melting in a chromosomal soup of twitching electrons, underwritten in a satisfying spread of hypnotic sub-currents.  Layers of icy (manatee) glows, and chattering life forms drifting on a cavernous expansion of tone,  no hints of any classical inflexions to distract from its cold extraterrestrial heart(s).

“Martian Time Slip” ends the album, a 22 minute symphony of valve-twisted Schnitzler psychedelics, multidimensional binary slurs and logarithmics. Sporadic dialogue full of alien hieroglyphics and cybernetic technologies tremolo(ing) submerged moog keylines…  an unusual vibe that’s got me itching to check out its inspiration.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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