Speak Galactic / P for Persia split single

On Monday 26th August two of Brighton’s finest space rock terrorists are putting out a split EP entitled “Aegis Arctic Alp” via Cupboard Music, Beatabet and Fcking The Night.


One of favourite live bands P for Persia take on side A with three tracks – Rainbow Flux, Saint Luanne and Uncanny Valley (see video below). Side B passes the baton to Speak Galactic, who we’ve raved about on many an occasion, who only contribute two tracks – New Inventions and Magnified Destiny – but the latter does clock in at around 18 minutes long.

Both bands deliver out there soundscapes that complement each other’s sound really well – P for Persia’s are more guitar based, punctuated with their trademark 8 bit bleeps, Speak Galactic’s start off more synth based, but there’s definitely saxaphones in there and seeing their live setup who knows what’s going into making the noises they do.

The EP is coming out on translucent purple 12″ vinyl, or as t-shirt with a download code. The release party is next Friday at the Green Door Store, where both bands are playing, with support from Cousin.

Speak Galactic / Severed album launch / review

Severed begins slowly and quietly. Opening track Capsule uses the same trick that Boards of Canada use – woozy out of phase ambience, familiar yet disorientating. Sounds echo from left to right almost lazily, lulling you into a false sense of security for what’s to come.

Things step up with recent single Precautionary Measures – wonky arpeggios, clattering drums, yelping vocals. Hyss starts off with more crazy stereo effects and builds into something that sounds like it could be a prog epic from the seventies with layered vocals and deliberately primitive keyboards. Pigments lays off the stereo but brings back the out of phase wooziness against krautrock beats with a crazy breakdown midway through.

Lux and Lost Ones bring some of the menace that comes with the wall of sound created at Speak Galactic’s live shows, thick slabs of electronic noise which fall away and blend seamlessly into the album’s masterpiece, Solar Sail.

Clocking in at a mere seventeen minutes, Solar Sail is a piece of ambient beauty. Twinkling analogue electronics start things off before swiftly moving into a seventies sci fi soundtrack that never was. Around seven minutes in you think it might be all over – there’s nothing except something which sounds a bit like tinnitus and some ambient noise. Xylophones threaten something more and background noises start to rumble. And then the sound of running water, and some simple chords which take you away to a beautiful place. Without you realising some distorted noise creeps in underneath, but it doesn’t matter because you’re still in the higher plane you’ve been taken to. The white noise increases, but there’s a beautiful majesty to it, and then out of the noise steps the final slow motion melody, towering like a giant over the rest of the record leaving you feeling exalted. It’s fantastic. It’s like Stereolab and Spiritualized at their most experimental jamming with each other. That good.

Severed is an ambitious, uncompromising, experimental record which isn’t for the faint hearted. It laughs in the face of genres and convention, but rewards you for taking up the challenge it offers.

Speak Galactic had a launch party for the album at Fitzherberts last saturday night. Support came ambient out of towners Plurals and Brighton Music Blog favourites Us Baby Bear Bones. Last time we saw them live was at The Great Escape, and since then they’ve been off in the studio recording material for an upcoming EP. They’ve obviously learned a trick or two while they’ve been away because their sound now is even bigger than before. The magic is still there and the songs sound better than ever. I can’t wait to hear them on record.

Us Baby Bear Bones

Speak Galactic live are a much noisier prospect than on record, and one that’s even more impressive, mainly because all of the sound (save for some live drums) is created by Owen Thomas. Everything is created onstage with a microphone, a guitar, a keyboard and a handful of effects pedals. There’s so much energy, and you can see the ideas and the talent fighting to get out, channelling itself through his fingers and voice. Visuals have been a recent addition to the live sets, and these complement the performance well – another assault on the sense with repeated patterns morphing with the music.

Music needs pioneers, people who are willing to push the boundaries to see what happens, and in Speak Galactic, Brighton’s got one they can be proud of.

Speak Galactic

Speak Galactic is released on on clear vinyl on September 24th by Cupboard Music.


Speak Galactic / Precautionary Measures

Back in February at Sea Monsters, Speak Galactic were one of the bands that really stood out for us – the intensity and the amount of ideas all fighting to be heard in their music are what all bands should strive for.

Nearly six months after they first caught our attention, Cupboard Music are releasing a new single and album by the band. The single, Precautionary Measures, is out on download right now, available to buy through Cupboard Music’s bandcamp page.

Things start off with woozy space age pop, but before long this is joined by arpeggiated keyboards, clattering drums, thick bass and multi tracked vocals. After a rather frenetic first half, things calm down for a bit before everything comes together again for the rather intense last minute.

Precautionary Measures demands to be listened on headphones or a stereo with decent separation: the tracks in each channel are just slightly different, as though they’re different takes of the same recording and background sounds bounce around from left to right. This doesn’t detract from the track though, and if anything makes it more engaging, making you listen to it closer to work out just what it is that’s drawing you in.

Precautionary Measures precedes the album Severed, which comes out on 24th September, on limited frosted 180gm heavyweight vinyl and slighly less limited download. The band are having a launch party at Fitzherberts on 15th September, supported by Us Baby Bear Bones and Plurals.