NASA’s Forgotten Ambient Albums

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I was trolling the intertubes yesterday and came across the five-volume set of “Symphonies of the Planets,” a 1992 release on the truck-stop and Ross Dress-for-Less label , LaserLight. Five tracks of “space music” 30 minutes long. But here’s the deal: this “space music” is purportedly real space music.

In 1990, we made the Symphonies of the Planets series from raw, uncatalogued space sounds data as a promotional series… We did not go through the lengthy process to document specific planets, moons or rings. Rather we selected random information from the raw data and processed it to produce Symphonies of the Planets. However all sounds are Space Sounds. There are no engine sounds from the space probes.

The finished result, which I fell asleep to last night, sounds close to Eno’s “On Land” album. No sweetness, just grumbling drones and weird sweeps of sine-wavery. Five tracks in all, and all, I suppose, are linked to a certain fly-by. But it doesn’t say which. And the NASA site has nothing on it. Horribly out of print, check it out here.

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