THE SOUNDS OF STARGAZING

Motion Sickness of Time Travel – Vignette for Taurus

Since 2009 Rachel Evans has released over 80 albums under the name Motion Sickness of Time Travel. The music is synthesizer-based and has nods towards minimalism and early electronic composition, as well as kosmische musik and exotica. This is the type of music that benefits from headphones and a quiet room, the audio equivalent of a home-prepared dinner that is more than just eating for sustenance. 

This particular tape – previously a quickly-sold out CD-r – is Vignette for Taurus (Adversary). In Rachel’s own words: “Plot still uncertain, but the elements therein reveal your character, your mood, an astral landscape to your future. Your father to the west, your mother to the west of him. You ground them. A map to your part of our deep-sky. Right Ascension: 4 hours Declination: 15 degrees.” 

“Concept album” may be the wrong classification, but that is not to say there is not an overarching theme. Named after the stars in the Taurus Constellation, the individual tracks, like the stars themselves, differ in intensity, some more detailed or shining brighter at first. When putting on the headphones you are met with synths huge and wide, mixed with the  oscillator drone common in the early days of electronic experimentation. Bass lines growl like a lightsaber as white noise emulates a rain storm out of one channel.

A calm reflective mood is common, though some tracks have cinematic lead lines that intimate the creation sound of alien worlds. Other times the sounds resemble a lost kosmische musik LP, with staggered synth lines playing the melody like a water fountain display in a sci-fi story. Other tracks have sprightly bass patterns plonking away and organ drones sputtering alien rhythms, transmitting a message from beyond our planet.

This album is rich in detail and requires repeat listening to discover all the layers. Rachel Evans has proven herself to be a leader in crafting dreamlike audio journeys, and after nearly a decade, shows no signs of slowing down. If you are in the mood for a nice hour of deep listening, Motion Sickness of Time Travel has your ticket and passport.

-Jeff Brown

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