Electronic musician Patrick R. Park works under different names like Black Tempel Pyrämid, Kösmonaut, Teeth Of Glass and LIFE EDUCATION. But on his newest release he’s just Patrick R. Park. Heady electronics, grizzled synth lines, and that rarified Colorado air have gone in to his latest release for Ethereal Mother Tapes.
Sports Themes For Psychonauts is Park’s alternate soundtrack to the 2020 Summer Olympics, and if this had indeed been the actual soundtrack to the Olympics I might have paid a little more attention to them. Glitchy, noisy, hazy electronics that feel more Dystopian than Olympian, this album emanates retro-futuristic vibes with a healthy dose of Krautrock, glitchy ambient, and psychedelia.
Park describes Sports Themes For Psychonauts this way, “Think of it as an alternate soundtrack to the 2020 Summer Olympics, influenced by the pixelated and distorted 80s and 90s sports video games of the era that were awesome.” Now I wasn’t much of a sports video game guy, unless Excitebike is considered a sports game. I was more of a Super Mario Bros, Kid Icarus, Contra, Castlevania kind of guy, choosing to play them late at night with beer in hand and the stereo blasting The Chemical Brothers.
But besides that, I can totally hear these songs playing over Olympic competitions. Some alternate reality where the Olympics took place on some off-world colony. Tracks like “Punch It Down The Line”, “Down To The Last Out”, and “Light The Lamp” playing while athletes compete in Handball, Gymnastics, and Taekwondo under some monolithic crystal dome located just a Boom Tube away from Earth.
Tracks like “Mescalero Gambit”, “Motocross Canyon”, and “Ducks On An Acid Pond” pulsate with urgency and tension, while “Soul Court Press”, “Orbit The Enganche” have a more retrained sound. Album closer “Spirit Soul Torch” has a kind of controlled chaos to it, beginning melodically and teetering between that world and something slightly more sinister.
No matter what kind of video games you played in the 80s and 90s, or whether you care about the Olympics, Patrick R. Park’s Sports Themes For Psychnauts is a hell of an electronic album. Propulsive, glitchy, Dystopian, and everything you want in a psychedelic electronic album.
7.9 out of 10
‘Sports Themes For Psychonauts’ is out now. Buy it here.