Subsonic Device, the powerful German imprint responsible for such classics as Darxid's "You", Supreme.Ja's "Digimachine", as well as Morphogenetic's "The Time Is Now", returns with one of their most unique releases to date: Krypton 81's "Outpost Alpha Centauri". This 9 song album is a complete journey to our nearest star system, where innovative synth compositions, layered by vintage overtones take control and take you to a space where we are no longer in soundscapes accustomed to...this is, Alpha Centauri after all, so strap on your seatbelts, and make sure there is plenty of oxygen, as this is a one way trip from which you will never return!
The first song we find is "Protocol Alpha", a beautiful intro in the likes of Jean-Michel Jarre, where vintage synth flights begin lift off as we are met by swirling bits of space dust. A palpable feeling sets in as earth drops down below, and we notice the magnitude of this journey we are now embarking on...hold on, for there is no turning back now, Alpha Centauri is our destination! Next up, "Genetic Mutation" begins to gallop in stride as shrill arpeggios join together with playful step sequences designed with care and skill. This song has a great vibe to it, even if a bit mischievous at times; but then again, we are in the middle of space now, and nothing from here on will be as it seems.
"Quantum Levitation" comes in next, and is perhaps my favorite. This one reminds me of some of the recent works on Plonk Recordings, another favorite of mine, and here delivered with a strong sense of purpose. Inspiring synths envelope around the beats with mystique, as determined arpeggios sweep in and out with warmth and oozing with analog goodness. Alluring female vocals work in tandem with robotic voices, as intelligent sequences add intricacy to the mix. Marvelous song!
"Planet Patrol" slows things down, and gets into some really cool soundscapes here with highly modulated synthlines that really grab you and pull you in. "Xenomorph" starts to go more in a Detroit fashion, with slight bits of obscure late 90's Electro like Adult and Rude 66, delivering some very interesting melodies carried along by a punishing bassline crafted just right.
Up next we find ourselves in the midst of a heavy dose of "Solar Radiation", kicking things back into overdrive as relentless syncopated bass sequences come together with abstract sonic alterations. This one is a bit in the likes of some of Dynarec's work, and elevates the mood into a more funky styled production. Coming from behind, "Code Zeta" retains you in orbit, a bit like the last, here introducing mysterious keys, and cold synthetic female vocals that invite you to come closer to our destination...but hang on, we are not quite there yet! A couple more experiences lie along the way.
As we begin to see Alpha Centauri in the horizon, we must remember this is no habitable place, we are only here to marvel in its splendor. "Atmosphere", something lacking in this star system in any of its companion stars, is not lacking in any way here from just the right elements to entice you to get up and start moving, letting lose. While the tempos here are somewhere in the mid 120's, the combination of robotic voices, enigmatic melodies, and gleaming arpeggios dazzle us as if being bathed in the light from our closest neighboring star.
Last but not least, as we reach our long awaited destination, "Surface" leaves us in a fashion much like the intro, almost reversing the gravitational pull from its counterpart's star dusting, giving us a final dose of ingenious analog arpeggios, and profound synths as you will find on just about every composition here. A really wonderful journey for anyone looking for more than just dancefloor music; Though this record includes a few goodies here that are perfect for that. This is a highly eclectic and masterfully created compilation of music by a label that's been in the game for quite some time now; never a disappointment when purchasing from Subsonic Device. Get it now wherever you buy music!
Written by: Santino Fernandez