We are very excited about our next full-length release. It comes to us all the way from Australia. If you pay attention close to the underground electronic music scene the last few years you may have noticed the amount of amazing and talented artists coming from Australia. It is certainly turned into a hotspot for many subgenres in techno. One of those artists making waves is Noosa Sound System. A huge fan and collector of electronic music himself, his influences through the past 30+ years reads like a who's who of respected guides. Although not a native Australian, he harks way back to the days of Hacienda in the late 80s in the legendary UK club Hacienda. A DJ himself through the early 90s and a progressive house label owner in the early 00's, he's been around and done a little bit of everything you could say. And he isn't new at producing music either. Like many others, the lockdown allowed some time for him to re-evaluate priorities and spend more time with loved ones and loved things. That certainly was the genesis for birthing the idea of tracks to build and album with. The result is 'Beyond the Sphere'.
The album opener 'Pirate Radio Pr.1 [Test Transmission]', sets the stage for beautifully constructed compositions one after another. There is a reserved aspect of the overall volume mix that is very pleasing to the ears. Making you listen closer; the volume is a touch lower and less in your face than most digital albums. This lets you listen in closer and allows you to settle in comfortably for the ride. A seasoned producing approach that really pays dividends as you get adjusted to the direction. The second part 'Pirate Radio Pt.2 [Sub-Rosa]' really speaks to Noosa Sound System's influences, adding heavily drenched acid lines to the ambient dub techno signature. Hearing dub techno expand its reach back into 90's chill out styles in techno is very exciting. Don't underestimate the beat programming. Always just the right amount of tech and beat evolution that keeps it all fresh and low-slung groovin'. 'Rae of Light' and 'Allie Cove' both are lovely and spacious, atmospheric tracks really develop their own environments. Desert island comes to mind no doubt. Peaceful dub pieces that Noosa calls the 'dub-sonic dimension'. A place he says where the use of the term ‘excursion’ is the only other way he could describe it. And we are fully on board. Speaking of excursion! How about the voyage 'Marduk’s Star' takes you on?! Nothing short of epic! One of the keys and strategies Noosa incorporates is the use of his mixing console and the idea of incorporating more gear. Routing and re-routing audio thru every available send and really exploring the studio. A hallmark of studio technics since the birth of dub. 'Fractal 51' and the ambient reprise 'Fractal 51 [PTFO scape]' are the final duo closing out the album in fine fashion. 1 just on the edge of being a club come-down track while the other version revisits the atmosphere but beatless.
All and all, 'Beyond the Sphere' is over 80 minutes of breathtaking sonic dub techno. Each piece relates well to each other creating a great cohesive program. A big thank you to Noosa Sound System for sharing these works with us all. Available on CD and in digital.
released August 30, 2023
Written & produced by Christopher Mark Hastings
Mastering by grad_u
Photography by Rima Prusakova
Layout by Artūras Kirslys
Package design by Arthur Nikitin
Write-up by Tim Humphrey