S.E.T.I. – The Geometry of Night

There are two ambient acts called S.E.T.I. – both, as I understand it, take their name from the original S.E.T.I. Institute, as in Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Websites such as Wikipedia or allmusic seem to confuse the two and lump their releases/activities together.

One S.E.T.I. is made up of Taylor Deupree and Savas Ysatas, and they released several albums. While the two artists still collaborate, they no longer use the S.E.T.I. moniker.

The other S.E.T.I. is Andrew Lagowski, who uses other names (his own, Legion) as well as S.E.T.I., and still does perform/record as S.E.T.I. – he’s performing on May 24th at a festival in Germany.

The Geometry of Night by the Lagowski S.E.T.I. has had a lot written about it – just search the web, far more than I can do justice to or need to duplicate here. It has been around for a while – first released in 1996, but still available. The music is complex and often quite rhythm driven, though never really danceable. The rhythms drive the mood. The bass lines, the melodies, the choirs, the strings: it all swells together into something dark and brooding, though somehow uplifting. While I only listen to the album as a whole – it builds and swirls and demands this kind of extended listening – my favourite track is Mare Crisium: five minutes of sound development before any beat kicks in. This is precise and finely crafted music. Writing to this is energising and vital and gives a real vibrancy to my words.

You can stream the music from last.fm, or better yet, stream or purchase the download from bandcamp

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