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Summer Town

Summer Town
(Space For Music)

When I first picked up this release by Spacecraft, I honestly thought that when I began playing it, I would fall into a giant tub of new age sap and not be able to pull myself out. Not only is the CD one continuous track (something that somewhat annoys me), but it was created as sort of a soundtrack for the Unityfest Celebration in 200 in which something like 150 people did their morning yoga as the group played this in the background.

As I started the CD, though, I started listening and then reading through the liner notes a little more. As some ambient synths washed over me, I read about how the community that the music was performed at is sort of a self-sustained little village centered around healthy development and integrating human activities into the world in a less-damaging way. Basically, it's sort of a modern hippie commune, but hey. Not only that, but Space For Music itself started out as an MP3.com site and this is the first traditional release for the label. They have over 40 titles with releases by artists ranging from unknown to decently known and are basically (like many small labels) doing things for the interest in the music.

Anyway, although there are some windchime-like sounds in the recording, it's really a lot less Windam Hill than I would have expected. With four members in the band layering lots of synths (including sampled, chant-like vocals and nice washes), some guitars, a smidge of percussion, and some other effects, Summer Town always manages to have at least a couple things going on within the recording and takes a much less "lite" sound that I expected. With the blend of some ethnic sounds and the electronic ambience, it at times resembles work by Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana, while at other times drifting into a slightly lighter Windy And Carl sound.

Overall, it's pretty nice, and if you're a person who just likes music to drift out by, this is a pretty good bet. As mentioned above, it's somewhat annoying that there is only one track on the 54 minute release, so forwarding to different parts of the performance is somewhat of a difficulty. At times, it drifts into lite, new-agey sorts of sounds, but mainly it walks a nice line of not being something that makes you instantly feel like you're in a head shop. The back cover states, "the music on this CD can serve as a background soundtrack for your exercises, meditations, relaxation, or pure enjoyment." I'd agree with that pretty much, that is, unless your exercise is something fairly vigorous.

Rating: 6.25