There’s truly something quite magical about Galactic Protector’s debut album Evening. It’s made much in the same fashion as a lot of electronic/synth-heavy records are; human in a room with synthesizers, drum machines, and recording device. Ideas based around futuristic worlds and epic struggles put to music. But with Bryan Richie(bass/keys player for rockers The Sword), there’s an eloquence in his songs that doesn’t come around nearly enough these days. Galactic Protector’s album Evening is a low key LP, yet feels to encompass another world within it. The songs sound like a soundtrack to a strange but lovely dream. A Moebius painting put to music. It’s an exquisite musical turn into lo-fi electric dreams that lead to sonic spatial bliss.
What started out as Bryan Richie simply learning his tools of the trade to better accentuate The Sword’s already big tunes, turned into an entirely new musical outlet for him. While learning the ins and outs of new synths back in 2016, Richie began recording experiments on the machines. These experiments added up till he had created an album’s worth of them. Thru friend and fellow musician Daniel Davies(John Carpenter, Year Long Disaster, Karma to Burn) Richie connected with Darren Page and Gary Dimes of electronic label Burning Witches Records. The two label heads dug Richie’s work, which leads us to Galactic Protector’s Evening.
How to describe the sonic world of Evening? Well, imagine Air’s musical aesthetic coalescing with the lo-fi sound of early Mac Demarco and Tame Impala. Light and airy psych, made by robots in some far off galaxy. It’s an open-ended sort of electronic music; a wide-eyed soundscape of foreign worlds and meditative vibe.
Opening track “Galactic Protector” takes your hand gently and walks you into the world of Evening with a woozy sway. It sounds as if it could’ve been some strange Beck b-side from his sadsack masterpiece Sea Change. “Space Year 1422” floats by like some pulsating cloud of colors and shapes. It’s a mixture of Neon Indian and Vangelis. “Sunset on Saba” is less than two minutes, but feels as epic as an album side track. It’s a mixture of melancholy and ghostly. A robot becoming self aware. I imagine a black and white film playing, skipping and slipping as if cut and pasted in a rush.
Elsewhere, “Liseran Sand” puts me in mind of the work of Nicklas Sørensen with its mix of crystalline guitar and synth. “Artificial Gravity” starts out like a Terry Riley piece with wavering electronic noise, but locks into a lo-fi groove that’s part Rüdiger Lorenz and part Tangerine Dream. Closing track “Mother” ends the album on a sorrowful note, with guitar, synth, and drum loop cascading down to a psychedelic conclusion.
Over 15 tracks, Galactic Protector’s Evening builds a sonic world that’s worth exploring time and time again. Bryan Richie has made an exquisite electronic album; a low key music world that feels as much a homemade patchwork of electronic collages as it does a revelatory, significant music statement.
8.4 out of 10
Galactic Protector’s Evening is available now via Burning Witches Records. Buy it here.