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Moonbeam - Space Odyssey (Mars)

Moonbeam - Space Odyssey (Mars)

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Breaking the stratosphere, hurled up out of the troposphere and onwards, into the inky blackness… With their first space odyssey, Moonbeam travelled at some magnificent speeds around the electronic music universe. Seeing them successfully orbit the second rock from the Sun, the ‘Venus’ mission concluded four years ago. Now those fearless Federators are ready to suit-up again, to take their second space shot. This time though the Russian duo are heading in the opposite direction. Past the blasted lunar landscapes from which they part take their name, and upward towards that tiny mysterious red microdot in the night sky. 

For Odyssey II, the pair have compiled a tracklist to do their interplanetary journey supreme justice. In highly atmospheric and distinctly soundtrack-like fashion, tempos, tones, instrumentations and sub-genres change at the speed of sound. To do this they’ve brought together music from studio-astronomers like Cosmic Gate, Andain, Myon & Shane 54, Super8 & Tab and Julie Thompson, Jaytech, Andy Duguid and others. Mixing international names with homegrown talent, the mixes also mass audio from Moonbeam and their evermore renowned label stable. So climb aboard and strap in good ‘n’ tight, because musically Pawel & Vitaly are going further, wider and deeper than they’ve ever gone before. This is ‘Space Odyssey: Mars’.

Mars’ departure lounge is the start-point for the outbound passage. Through the atmospherically detached chime of its PA, Moonbeam embark with their 2014 Mars Mix of ‘See The Difference’. Undercut with an anticipatory edge, Julia B’s vocals lends it an ice-cool veneer. With the metallic phase and super-flange of its techno margins, the brothers’ angle their own ‘Mirrors’ into the mix, further charting the course to deep celestial trance through Cosmic Gate’s ‘Wake Your Mind’.

With the rushing thrust of its drum code and analogue distorts, ‘Close Your Eye’s from Semyon ‘Hells Kitchen’ Ermakov and Moonbeam’s own brooding take on Andain’s ‘You Once Told Me’ warp the mix Mars-bound. As Earth becomes but a dot behind them, Cary Less’ willowy vocals lend Progreg’s ‘Sing For You’ its floating, zero-grav vibe, while Kiholm's dream of the ‘Long Journey Home’ is a suitably epic and progressive one. 

With Mars now on approach Andy Duguid grooves hard with ‘In This Moment’, whilst Allesandro’s tough, minimal, distractedly haunting ‘Awake’ bleeps more ominously. Revealing the mission's clandestine agenda, Mars Needs Lovers’ provide its outer marker, with the Russian duo's vibrant 303-rolling ‘Lovethief’. As it slingshots round Old Red, Fromance get low-slung, moody and reflective on mix-1’s closeout track ‘Back To Earth’.

The return voyage begins as melodics fall on the liquid cool grooves of 2Fashion’s ‘Such A Shame’, prefixing Eva Pavlova’s hypnotizing vocal turn on Indifferent Guy’s ‘Danger’. More inventive vocals - this time house-ier in origin - come courtesy of Joshi’s ‘Raging Blue’, Myon & Shane 54’s ‘Outshine’ and the Da Fresh/Blackfeel Wite link-up ‘Angel’.

From there ‘Odyssey: Mars’ sonically re-enters deep space. Tech-ily chewing up the homeward miles Orbik’s ‘If Its Love’ dazzles, while Jaytech’s cosmic retake of Julie Thompson & Super8 & Tab’s ‘Your Secret’s Safe’ further increases the mix’s velocity. Midway home Moonbeam pull a sharp stylistic diversion. With its percussion frission and super-delayed, near psychotropic FX, Mier’s ‘Twisted Mind’ affords a glimpse down the wormhole, reminding you that musically, with Moonbeam, anything could happen.

Matt Fax provides the journey’s most upliftingly trancey moment with ‘Moreevenin’. Less ‘Out Of The Blue’ and more ‘into the black’, it begins to signal Odyssey‘s triumphant reentry. With the almost lamenting piano of goob’s ‘Apollo-17 hanging in the air, it transpires the Red Planet has sent someone (or something) back with it. Marsbeing’s otherworldly ‘Fancy’ provides the mix's ultra cool, quirky and strangely appropriate touchdown track.
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