Deep Space Orchestra – Last Exit review
With a name that features a classic Model 500 album and half of Carl Craig’s most avant project, it would be easy to accuse Chris Barker and Simon Murray, aka Deep Space Orchestra of wearing their influences on their sleeves. Such criticism is instantly negated by dint of the fact that the duo are releasing on Kirk Degiorgio’s relaunched Applied Rhythmic Technology label, which has an impeccable back catalogue that numbers Carl Craig among its releases. In any event, “Return to Dodge City” is more New York than Detroit, featuring a rippling, surging funk bassline combined with subtle disco riffs and gorgeous chord melodies.
Clearly Barker and Murray spent a lot of time and effort crafting each piece that made it onto this 12″, and this is audible on the title track “Last Exit”. More reflective than “Return to Dodge City”, it nonetheless boasts mournfully seductive synths and tight metallic drums. “Streetlights” sees them venture further towards Detroit techno, but again, they avoid sounding like a pastiche. Starting off with an atmospheric soundscape, the driving drums and heavy, thundering claps take a while to kick in, but when they do, it sounds like a thousand hand grenades exploding simultaneously. That they manage to effortlessly balance wide-eyed melodies with such explosive rhythmic elements for the remainder of the track speaks volumes about their abilities.