Album Review: Surak – Space Invaders

We can understand why Danilo Fittipaldi, under the guise of Surak, has included the word Space in this project Space Invaders. There’s a lot of it, an atmosphere is created within the first minute of One which is encapsulating. It’s like it sets a platform above the night’s clouds, from which the listener can view the whole of the sky; from shooting stars mere moments away to every distant speck of light from supernovas millions of years ago. What is meant by that analogy is that Surak has developed a style of electro music that is peaceful and relaxing without being sugary sweet or without substance. Taking influence from bands such as Air and Sigor Ros, but also at points the occasional inclusion of samples and effects not dissimilar to the instrumental work by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

This is a 13 track album, and every track effortlessly slots in to the next, to the extent that having heard the whole thing, one could easily believe that it is one long seamless piece of work. Application of music such as Surak’s is endless, this style of minimalist shoegaze would suit a trendy high street clothes store just as well as the backdrop to the astronomical department of a science museum. This is not meant in a detrimental sense whatsoever. What we mean here is that Surak seems to have figured out more or less, how to create space in the listener’s head.

The project is not all electrolysis, guitars slide in and out of tracks such as in “A comet is born” and the piano is the tour guide through most of this space tour, that already provides more worth than Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

There are a lot of references to space (both in this review and indeed the album), not just with track names such as ‘moon landing’, ‘synthetic sun’, and ‘cosmic background radiation’. The use of haunting synthesis resonates with its nothingness, and the samples of radio feedback go a long way toward making ‘Space Invaders’ the way it is.

It could be argued that some of these samples may be mixed in such a way that they can very occasionally detract from the melody of the songs and make them difficult listening. This is a shame, but should in no way put anyone off who is looking for new music to engage with, study to or impress their friends with.

Why the word ‘Invaders’ was used in the title is a mystery, as there is very little invasive about this project. The cute 8-bit style artwork however, really does compliment what Danilo has produced here though. Surak has managed to lace Space Invaders with such intricate music and emotion that it presents the listener with a beautiful dream-like sensation of falling into the unknown.

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