Artwork by Chad Drake
The unearthliness of Un Boombox Symphonique might have you wondering if the end of the NASA's manned space projects of the past finds us today more interested in the cosmos. After all, it's been awhile since American astronauts left their footprints on the moon. From Earth's vantage point, there must be something about the image of a human intruding on another planet that plays into our need to migrate. Certainly, the space drama, Gravity has had humans filling theater seats while the movie made tons of money and received several awards. And for those of us who missed the 1980s Carl Sagan documentary television series Cosmos, not to worry, the show has recently been updated as a sequel. Perhaps Australian musician Kosta Andreadis, aka Kbit, new effort Un Boombox Symphonique can be added to the renewed fascination with space.
The cosmic theme begins with the cover art where artist Chad Drake has illustrated an eye-catching depiction of a floating astronaut. From there, the music begins with 10 tracks that propel the listener into orbit. The album not only has a yearning for space, but also has nostalgia for '80s pop music, which is intertwined in many of the tracks and might have you dancing to the beats.
What better way to start an album such as this then with the voice of President Dwight Eisenhower honoring the seven men who were selected for the very first NASA project Mercury? The first track "These Seven" opens with"
"Ladies and gentleman, today we are introducing to you and to the world these seven men who have been selected to begin training for orbital space flight [...]."
While Eisenhower ushers in a journey into a new frontier, Kbit's ethereal synthesizing effortlessly transits into this grand announcement by switching the track over to an ambient soundscape that builds into a drum crescendo and then cycles back to Eisenhower's fading voice.
The next track "Anytime But Then" begins with mood driven drums and keys before the bass adds texture to the piece. Halfway through this song, it mellows out a bit before returning to the alt-rock sound it began with. "Europa" has an 80s pop soundscape that is mostly driven by drums in the forefront while textured sounds sneak in now and then throughout the piece. "Europa" might be the track that the guy in the white space suite might groove to while floating in the cosmos. The title track "Un Boombox Symphonique" actually brings you back down to earth -- the South Bronx -- where break-dancers are the new heroes dancing away from the temptation of drugs and keeping them off the streets. This electronic '80s symphony might find you half expecting Paula Abdul to jump out of nowhere and strut her dancing talents.
The remaining tracks follow that same repeated spacey ambient formula that may hold your interest or just might provoke you into getting ready for a smooth landing back to that planet we all call home. All in all, Kbit's orbital space effort will offer a respite from the mundane world we live in.
You can listen to Kbit's Un Boombox Symphonique on BandCamp.