This ambient act have studied the likes of Brian Eno (who liked to write about aeroplanes himself, in his way), Tangerine Dream and Stars of the Lid, making a record of organic and wonderfully dated compositions through synthwork and soundscaping. 'Night Flights Vol. 1' is recommended for all those in need of a spaced out meditation or two -- or who need something to sooth them after take off.
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There’s a growing trend of late in which artists and labels are releasing cosmic records deeply rooted in '70s nostalgic wonder. From new excursions like The Advisory Circle’s From Out There and Ambidextrous’ Geek Mythology to the reissue of Vangelis’ gloriously pompous Heaven and Hell, the acidic space-gazing of yesteryear has been reinvigorated, maybe as part of a grander plot to tell NASA to get us to Alpha Centauri quicker. Come on Obama, you’re really lagging here. You too Japan.
Night Flights, a new project featuring members of Carlton Melton, stays true to the instrumentation of the time on their first trip into the final frontier, featuring primarily vintage styled drifting synthesisers and episodes of guitar noodlage. Like space, the music doesn’t really change all that much per side, droning along with the blank depth of an endless vacuum. But that’s the point - it’s the full immersion into a single sonic landscape that this lot focus on. Side A floats along like a good Eno project, with just as much reverb as ‘Deep Blue Day’ but barely any chord changes. It’s nice, and if you want to just chill for a while then it’s ideal.
Things kick off a bit on the flip, hitting you with an actual beat, overdriven keys and refreshing dips into dissonance. Presumably this is the sound of finding a stormy planet being battered by solar flares and worrying about your ship becoming a cosmic fireworks display. The guitar enters in the second half of first track ‘Alpha Jerk’ heralding further variation over the drone backdrop, before it putters out into ‘Lure’, a more minimal interpretation of the first side. To round it off, the dark plod of your dead body is featured in ‘Corpse Strut’, so you’ve now died and are a lost skeleton in a tin can. I bet volume 2 starts with an alien colony resurrecting you then proceeding to ‘test’ your sanity away. Whatever the case, this is a nice but somewhat derivative hark back to the ambient masterworks of old, and definitely a great meditation piece.
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