Space, in the words of minimalist composer Terry Riley, is “surely the realm of dreams and imagination,” the “feeding ground for poets and musicians”. Ike Release and Hakim Murphy have created a record inspired by the heavens but made in Chicago.
I’ve been through Innerspace Halfife’s Astral Traveling a dozen times in the last month and it always seems to be composing itself for the first time as I’m listening. Each of the titles evoke some element of astronomy (“Particle Burst”, “Starfields”, “Ionic Transport”), but the sound is steel on steel, and if its head is in the clouds it’s only because the acoustics are better up there. “Breaking Lights” can’t help but to get down on a very earth-oriented dancefloor; even “Starfields” is barely succeeding at suppressing a human desire to break the natural beauty of a scene by jumping in and dancing around in it. “Galaxy Dreaming” seems too ethereal to last, and it doesn’t, collapsing at just under two minutes and giving way to the visceral stomp of “Magical Rings”.
Innerspace Halflife and the camp around it – Hakim and Ike individually, as well as their labels and frequent collaborators – are releasing solid techno and electronic music at a rate that would make many digilabels beg for a breather. Most of it is solid and some of it is great, like most people’s output. This is one I’d call “transcendent” – in scope, in practice and in execution.