Strange Gravity – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-9088
Gravity is one of the oldest studies of physical science. Is gravity the only natural attraction between celestial bodies? Leading to the next question, do things fall toward the ground, or do things always fall towards the center of the universe which, so far, happens to be just beyond the Earth below? What really happens beyond the event horizon? Successive questions have brought the discussion to notions of time space and relativity, always seeking an understanding of gravitational perturbations. I frequently wonder, where will the umbrella girl lead us to next?
1. About the album Strange Gravity
Instrumental space music created using…
…electric guitar, synthesizers and theremin, a series of explorations of distant territories. Free-falling objects are moving along locally straight paths in curved spacetime, influenced by dark matter, quantum gravity, supergravity, and an array of gravitational singularities. What you will hear is a dialog between two inspired friends, guitar, and synthesizer, taking us on a journey through frightening vertiginous expanses, the inertia builds slowly until the warping phenomena kicks in and a flock of creatures, perhaps mermaids or tiny, bizarre aliens, again continue their flight in the direction of the horizon.
Gravity is responsible for many of the large-scale structures in the universe, and Strange Gravity contains wordless dreams beamed from the other worlds, bringing a cargo of ideas and mysterious atmospheres, with some new experiments for the positioning of sounds in the wilderness. There are extra-fast stars, an occasional flyby anomaly, at times you can see that some stars at the edges of galaxies are orbiting faster than should be possible.
The umbrella girl returns. This is the second collaboration of Marvin Allen and Craig Padilla, the first album is titled Toward The Horizon and came from Spotted Peccary in early 2019. Umbrellas offer portable shelter, durable enough for ordinary gravity and ordinary falling rain, but there is more of a challenge when the strange forces of the wind change the direction that the rain moves. Strange Gravity continues building on the frightening vertiginous depths and the presence of gigantic flying objects overhead discovered on the first album. This new starship is headed for the unknown, to mystery spots and places around the cosmos said to contain gravitational anomalies, where the oldest laws of nature appear to have been turned off.
2. The tracks
The title track…
…”Strange Gravity” (18:46), starts off slow and rich, there are strange life forms that float past, eventually there are sections with rhythmic textures, and there are vast open areas. Drama builds, huge gates open and mysteries are abundant. The rolling and tumbling through space are rendered by the weaving melodies of the two friends.
Imagine a meteor which fell in ancient days and left a magic circle. Archaeoastronomy is the study of the ancient beliefs about the stars. Imagine a man alone in the wilderness learning to fly. He searches his mind, inspects it, tries it out and learns to use it, the icy hawks are weaving sparkly patterns, urging this person to journey deeper into the colorful unknown wilderness. The leap will reveal all. “The Revelation” (6:47) begins sparsely, always building and ascending, guitar and chorus builds to synth dancing and flickering, and then gets into some heavy space rockin’ and rollin’ before fading into the beyondscape.
The highest levels of happiness and general wellbeing benefits from strong, close ties to numerous friends, mutual understanding and compassion, the enjoyment of each other’s company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings to others, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend. “Friendship” (11:00), features a bending guitar supported by synthesizer, this builds the dialog, the journey is the essence, back and forth and on and on, the joy is in the now and the destination takes care of itself somewhere in the future. This is a movie about familiar companions in constant motion through unexpected new places.
I think I am getting…
…somewhere now, the past and future do not always have to make perfect sense but the activities on this spaceship in the present are filling me with sonic wonder, light is not just a means by which the form is seen, the distances are lost while the details keep things interesting. “Fractured Illuminations” (9:40) presents echoey shadows and flickering colors emerging into fleeting distant glow. The dimensions are spectacular as are the chromatic spectrums. On this track I have seen more colors that have never before attempted, Strange Gravity is a sparkling phantom leading us all into new far-flung territories.
Gyres are spiraling circulation patterns in the oceans where water and light feed new life, thousands of miles in diameter and rimmed by large, permanent currents, containing homes for a vibrant array of sea beings and support for multiple centuries-old local cultures. Now project that terrestrial image into the outer galaxies, imagine extraterrestrial liquids and gasses circulating in gigantic patterns. “All Around Us” (18:19) the way is filled with illusions and unaccountable phenomena and the journey is perilous but worth repeating.
3. The musicians
Marvin Allen is a…
…rock-based singer-songwriter; on this project he employs a Strymon BigSky reverb pedal, Strymon Timeline delay, Ernie Ball stereo volume pedal, Menatone Blue Collar overdrive, Muff Fuzz, Univibe Phase Shifter, Ebow, and glass slide.
Craig Padilla has an…
…array of electronics he brings to the mix; he has over 40 albums on various labels and has been very active since the mid-1990s. In addition to recording albums, he also edits and produces videos for local television commercials, infomercials, corporate events, and music videos.
Marvin brings a deep rock-scorching guitar while Craig holds up the rest of the sky and provides the atmospheres. The oldest promises inspire future utopias; here there is the limitless infinite expanse populated by mirages and possibilities that have no proper perspective to give scale or proportion, just awareness and doubt mixed with relief.
4. Where to buy Strange Gravity?
Written by Robin James, January 12th, 2021