Future Pilot AKA Vs A Galaxy Of Sound
There are many stars in the galaxy of sound, but it takes one of the furthest out to define the peculiar genius of [a]Future Pilot AKA[/a]....More on
"I know the cybernetic bio-feedback link/Is the place my time machine lands when I start to stink", intones Kim Fowley, psychedelic rock's quintessential hanger-on, during 'Night Flight To Memphis'. What he's trying to describe is a skewed sci-fi retro-futurist spacepop trip backwards and forwards through musical history that drops into the orbits of Cornershop, Andy Weatherall, Alan Vega, The Pastels, Brix Smith, Scanner and a gang of New Delhi schoolkids. Really.
In truth, it's a lot less confusing than it sounds. Future Pilot AKA is, in fact, Sushil K Dade, briefly a pop star with The Soup Dragons and nowadays an eccentric analogue sound scientist at the heart of the Glasgow underground. Oh, and a driving instructor. '...A Galaxy Of Sound' is his magnum opus, a rich and mesmerising two-CD extravaganza that brings together 20 of his collaborations with the illustrious and obscure, from jangly fossils like ex-Orange Juicer James Kirk to new jazz mavericks like Bill Wells.
In theory, we should be contemplating a haphazard old mess. But through some joyous alchemy, Dade has stitched together all his disparate mates and a panoply of styles into a shiny, massively enjoyable and oddly coherent whole. There's real mischief here, as he plainly delights in bundling his co-pilots into unlikely scenarios. So Brix Smith is sunk into a vast echo chamber of dub for 'Indians At NASA', while The Pastels become implausibly fine purveyors of Spacemen 3-style dronerock on 'Hurricane Fighter Pilot'. Alan Vega, meanwhile, wanders into 'Meditation Rat', a heavy raga electro-trance that's part Indian folk music, part latterday Primal Scream, and still manages to make it sound like 'Frankie Teardrop'.
Best of all, possibly, comes last, as Dade factors in the atmospherics to 'Sterling' by Glaswegian newcomers National Park, an elegantly unravelling guitar burn that recalls nothing less than the frayed majesty of Yo La Tengo. It's the soundtrack for the Future Pilot to fly off into the sunset, grace and wit intact, his work in this era done for now. A beautifully executed 20-point turn round the musical planet, you could say, with absolutely no emergency stops.
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