Monday, 6 December 2010

Space Traitor Vol 1 - Starkey

In an effort to stay in touch I’ll sometimes have a listen to ‘street’ (hey!) sounds, because it’s easier to do so now. Not that Dubstep is the hottest thing today. That honour goes to Witch-Tech, a crazy sound incorporating the ghosts of Detroit, chanted spells, bed knob-twiddling and broomsticks, I shouldn’t wonder...
   Where was I...oh yes, so to Starkey, about whom I know nothing, but having just stumbled across his latest EP, ‘Space Traitor’, I’m all ears. It kicks off with ‘Robot Hands’ – BOOM-BOOM-bleep-bleep-bleep-BOFFFFFF! – a colossal bone-crunching synth riff which demands that you turn the volume up, right up, and make like Gort doing the Camel Walk, if you like. That’s all it does really, and it’s enough. ‘Playing With Fire’ has a grandeur about it that’s almost Wagnerian, I kid you not, and on Earth circa 3010, I wouldn't be surprised if they played this at the Proms. Well, OK, I would.
   Attilio Mineo’s ‘Man In Space With Sounds’ is one of my favourite albums, and I’m surprised that I haven’t heard it sampled more often. In fact, I’ve never heard it sampled, but it must have been. Starkey makes up for that, using a Mineo intro to open ‘Holodek’. Of course it’s good, especially the way he keeps Mineo’s strings running throughout and breaks it down around the 2min mark.
   I’m not too keen on vocals in modern music, as long-term readers (yes, you two) will know, but ‘Paradise’ is pleasant enough, and the opening piano is a nice touch. What’s great about the Zygadlo remix is the use of a sampled song from about halfway. I don’t know the song, but here it sounds perfectly matched, the old and new. The two remixes of ‘Robot Hands’ are good, but Ital Tek’s take on ‘Playing With Fire’ takes the remix prize for me.
   Finally there’s a biographical piece, which saves me having to look him up. He’s an intergalactic space traveller, as were his family going way back. He’s set up a Starkbot (his own humanoid robots) sanctuary called Starkville, of which he’s the mayor. There’s some question as to whether he’ll stay on Earth. I have not made that up.

Starkey waves farewell to another of his creations.

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