Review Summary: Keep calm and carry on
We all have our good days and our not so good days. We have times when we feel comfortable and certain with our lives and who we are and other times when we are volatile – entirely lost and entirely uncertain. Last year was a time in my life when I felt very alone and very afraid, and when I was having a bad day, I needed something to latch onto. On many occasions, Nothing Divides us Here
by Exoplanet (the alias for Oscar Thomas van Der Knaap) was just the cure for a bad day.
As Your Sorow is My Despair
opens, the feel is remarkably similar to Tangerine Dream
or The Future Sound of London
. Bizarre and fresh electronic sounds invade your space from every direction. As fascinating as it is disarming, Exoplanet takes sounds you might hear in a rainforest, borrowing more from tribal sounds than van Der Knaap’s homeland in the Netherlands and with these and other ambient noises, he crafts music that sounds incredibly new. The steady beat guides you along the way, making transitions from dark and confusing sounds to more optimistic and hopeful ones seem simple, bringing us into a more stable and comfortable state of being.
The Periphery of Unity
and Even Impermanence is Transient
represent both these states overtly, with the refrain “In My Miserable Loneliness” repeating in the former and “I will Raise you to Consciousness” repeating in the latter. As much as you feel the depth behind the despair, Exoplanet rises above the madness, bathing the listener with clarity and peace of mind, while new beats overlain over one another submerge you deeper to the whims of the music.
“Shepherd of Consciousness”, is the track that would be at home in any downtempo friendly room in which it is played. Swaying and grabbing and twisting and yet so very lucidly, the 10 minute 18 second runtime does not feel excessive and closes things out gorgeously.
Though the simple beat at times gives the album a lack of variety that turns things almost boring, it was never Oscar Thomas’ intention to make it incredibly exciting. He simply made an incredible range of music that’s both simple and accessible. So while this isn’t the next Tangerine Dream
album, this is the album Edgar Froese wishes he could still make.