11 11 (Me, Smiling) – The Interplanetary Acoustic Team (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

When music is stripped down to its raw ingredients, you tend to end up with the word sound. Once you have a sound you can add pitch, rhythm and tempo and you have something that can be called music. If you’re feeling even braver you can bring in structure, maybe a melody and you’ve got a song.

What The Interplanetary Acoustic Team have done on their debut album is make you question what we recognise as being a ‘song’, but what they’ve also done is make something engaging and enveloping as an experience. My first suggestion for listening to this album is find the best speakers you can find and simply absorb what is going on.

It’s part sci-fi soundtrack, part documentary and part love letter and, if given the chance, will suck you in and give you something quite original.

Dotted throughout the album are spoken word  snippets from the late poet and author Ilyse Kusnetz, who was married to the bands songwriter Brian Turner, and with this comes the emotional side of the album and this is where the centre of the album sits, there are sentences regarding uploading ones consciousness into a new vessel after the human body has run its course and final track ‘Goodbye Earth, Goodbye Solar System’ acts as just that; a goodbye.

We have pulsing electronics and synth sounds underpinning the sound of the band drifting across speakers and arriving behind you which points to the production of the sound being equally as time consuming as the writing of the songs. This must have been a heart-breaking album to make but considering how distant the subject matter feels (in time and travel) it holds its heart very close.

This album won’t appeal to everybody, and it takes commitment to fully appreciate what is going on but, ultimately, it’s worth it.

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