Various Artists - Space Oddities II

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  • In this touch-of-a-button Google era, it's kind of hard to remember just what it meant for music to achieve that most collector-cherished status: "rarity." But even in an age of instantaneity, much of Europe's vaunted "library music" remains unavailable commercially and rather well buried by time. Fortunately, for lazy bastards like me, that's where French DJs and crate-obsessors Alexis Le-Tan and Jess come in. Now on the second edition of Permanent Vacation's Space Oddities compilation, the duo again helmed the selection and performed the laborious task of licensing all the material, blowin' the dust off a stack of leftfield source music from movies and television shows. But where the first edition was focused on quirky vintage electronics and demented cosmic sounds, Volume 2 is much fleshier, a more organic mixture of long-hair funk and jazzy psychedelic rock culled from notable European catalogues like the UK's KPM, Italy's Cardium and France's Sonimage. Even if it's no longer dominated by vintage near-Beardo and Balearic, Volume 2's still pretty hirsute. It's certainly no less focused on rhythm; its romps are thick-bearded psychedelica anchored by fairly robust beats. A. Perry and L. Delancour's "New Life" is a strutty bit of flute-laced funk-rock with a flameout guitar solo right out of an early '70s Pink Floyd record. "Equilibrium"' by H. Tical—noted soundtrack composer Armando Sciascia's pseudonym—and its limber summer-time samba could pass for a peak-era Santana jam, while his "Microchaos" gives The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" a little bit of Poindexter without sacrificing its loose-hipped swagger. With its breezy vocals and blithe guitar work, J.P. Decerf, G. Zajd and C. Betsy's "Leavin' My Place" flirts with absurd continental AM gold, and Aldo Tamborelli's "Psycho Feeling" dizzies in drug-visions through a kind of warbled yodeling and chunky trap-beat. Elsewhere, Titanic's "Sultana" simmers against a slinky tribal beat, lengthy organ soloing and ascendant vocal moans, while with wild female vocals and skunky fuzz-box funk, Yan Tregger's "Sun Adoration" is sheer dance floor hedonism. When Space Oddities 2 veers from dudefest psych-rock toward classical Italian soundtracking, things become a bit stuffier, but no less steamy. A. Vuolo's "Leaving" sounds like a John Carpenter song reconfigured to BBC soundtrack the Moon-landing, where S. Mallia's "Space People" slowly flames around tense Goblin-esque atmospheres and eerie synth melodies. But even with these brainier distractions, ultimately your appreciation of the second volume of Permanent's (hopefully, um, permanent) Space Oddities series will come down to your hippie-threshold. As I said, much of this material's lit to full spectrum, works of acid trail and mushroom tea expansionism. My advice: settle in and watch the colors bleed.
  • Tracklist
      01. J.P. Decerf, G. Zajd & C. Betsy - Strange Form 02. A. Perry, L. Delacour - New Life 03. H. Tical - Equilibrium 04. E. Warner - Shut Up 05. C.Perraudin - Tremplin 06. D. Edwardson, S. Sell - Cutting the Funk 07. J.P. Decerf, G. Zajd & C. Betsy - Leavin' My Place 08. Guy Pedersen - Christophus Colombus 09. Tamborelli - Indian Feeling 10. Tamborelli - Psyco Feeling 11. L. Vanay - Sunshine in My Heart 12. J.C. Pierric - Magma Game 13. Titanic - Sultana 14. J. F. Gael & P. Buffenoir - Saba 15. Yan Tregger - Sun Adoration 16. H. Tical - Microchaos 17. J.P Decerf - Gates of Pop Empire 18. D. Guiot - Les Pingouins S'Amusent 19. A. Vuolo - Leaving 20. S. Mallia - Space People 21. C. Perraudin - Bluesy Feeling