New Age Journal names Spacecraft 'Earthtime Tapestry' 'The Electronic Pick for 1999' 'Earthtime Tapestry', the title track, was used in the Paramount Pictures film 'Vanilla Sky' starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, directed by Cameron Crowe. This music appears in the film in the scene just after the pivotal car crash moment, when Tom Cruise is seen walking seemingly unscathed in Central Park, and you know something weird is going on. This 57-minute CD from 1999 features a distinctly more melodic side of Spacecraft's music, as the band explores the link generated between earth and life by sonic resonance. This time, the domain of synthesizers is visited by a guitar presence and choral vocals. While the soft electronics pulse and flow like energized mist, processed guitars flavor the blend with soaring tones, enhancing the music's ascendant quality. After lulling the listener with ambient soundscapes, the guitars adopt a more traditional presence, and the synthesizers become more keyboard-like with cyclic sequences of sparkling rhythms. The long waves of sound build into dreamy passages, accompanied by heavenly non-lyrical female vocal pitches. There's even a sedate trace of synthetic percussion in a few pieces. These compositions are touched with a glorious sunlight, charging each holistic tone with a shimmering quality. Spacecraft's fusion of melody with minimalism produces an ambience that is enthusiastic and inspirational. Despite these earthier origins, this music still lives in outer space. The expansive qualities cannot be restrained to any atmospheric condition, needing the limitless void to unfurl and properly display it's inherent spaciness. Spacecraft EARTHTIME TAPESTRY Lektronic Soundscapes (1999) Time: 56:49 When I interviewed Tony Gerber earlier this year, and he said that Giles Reaves had joined Spacecraft for their next release, I eagerly looked forward to it. Reaves is well-known for his space classics Sea of Glass and the treasured, out-of-print Wunjo. He also was featured on Gerber's solo CD Blue Western Sky, to which I must confess a certain sentimental allegiance, being the first CD I reviewed in print. I may not be fully objective, but I think it is safe to say that Earthtime Tapestry continues in the direction set by Hummel, painting beautiful sonic landscapes of extraterrestrial places. Like Hummel, Earthtime Tapestry is firmly rooted in improvised, flowing space music, with much more melodic sense that the first, self-titled release Spacecraft. Spacecraft have two things going for them that keep their music very fresh and inventive. One is the improvisational nature of their music, the other is the slight changing of personnel from album to album. Though Gerber, John Rose and Diane Timmons seem to have captured a signature sound, they also seem to keep pushing the envelope just a bit, this time with Reaves comfortably joining in. Spacecraft seems to straddle the lines between ambient, experimental, and new age, in a way that is so easily listenable. The end result seems effortless, as in 'Dreams of One,' which floats so smoothly and softly, drifting with Timmons' voice as it echoes across the expanse of space. The eleven selections, which run together as one, strike a perfect balance of musical energy, seeming to know just when to pull back or really take off. The mood ranges from playful ('Stepping Lightly') to sad ('Elder's Mourning') to a little spooky ('Beyond'). Throughout, the space theme resonates, as there is a fragility, a delicate touch that binds it all together. Earthtime Tapestry is stellar space music.
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