screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Mutual Benefit

The Space Project

Here’s part two of my “flashback posts.” Though I’m writing this in March, it was actually sent to me, lo and behold, on January 22! Sometimes things do work out, I suppose.

The Space Project (due out on April 19, Record Store Day, on Lefse Records) is actually a pretty cool concept. Featuring bands like Spiritualized, Beach House, The Antlers and Youth Lagoon, it’s a collection of 14 songs that incorporate sound recordings from space, recorded by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes, that were launched in 1977. These individually unique sounds are actually “electromagnetic radiation fluctuations in the magnetosphere of the planets, moons and large asteroids.” The songs are inspired by particular celestial bodies (see track listing below).

This music and satellites relationship isn’t exactly new. On each Voyager, there’s a time capsule that is intended to “tell our story” (as if the extraterrestrials will give a flying f***, right?). The Golden Record (a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk) includes music assembled by a committee led by Carl Sagan. Their chosen pieces? Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, “Johnny B. Goode,” Australian Aboriginal songs, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a recording of “Melancholy Blues” by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven, and more. What, no Ramones?

Space Project Track Listing

A: Porcelain Raft, “Giove”
B: The Antlers, “Jupiter”

A: Mutual Benefit, “Terraform”
B: Anna Meredith, “Miranda”


A: Spiritualized “Mississippi Space Program,” “Always Together With You (The Bridge Song)”
B. The Holydrug Couple, “Amphitrites Lost”


A: Youth Lagoon, “Worms”
B: Blues Control, “Blues Danube”


A: Beach House, “Saturn Song”
B: Zomes, “Moonlet”


A: Absolutely Free, “EARTH I”
B: Jesu, “Song of Earth”


A: Benoit & Sergio, “Long Neglected Words”
B: Larry Gus, “Sphere of Io (For Georg Cantor)”

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Band Roundup!

White Sea, Wax Fang, Darwin Deez, Glass Vaults, Mutual Benefit, and Christopher Paul Stelling (photograph by Clarence K. Photography)

White Sea, Wax Fang, Darwin Deez, Glass Vaults, Mutual Benefit, and Christopher Paul Stelling (photograph by Clarence K. Photography)

High time for another band roundup. We have the latest project from Morgan Kibbyh of M83, White Sea, whom I heard were fantastic at (the club formerly known as) Spaceland in Los Angeles Saturday night. Hope they come to Boston soon. There’s an amazing guitarist/singer-songwriter by the name of Christopher Paul Stelling, some dreamy New Zealand soundscapes from Glass Vaults, and prepared piano à la John Cage from Düsseldorf-based Hauschka. Prog rock and psychedelia from Louisville’s Wax Fang, the quirky pop of the oddly-named Mutual Benefit, and bizarre (but rather sweet) showman Darwin Deez. And oh yes, while we’re on the subject of strange band names, Boston’s own WhiteShoeBrownShoe.

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