Artist: 17 Pygmies

CD: "Celestina"


Long, long ago in a gala... no, wait.

Once upon a time....

There was a plan to make movie adaptation of the novel "Dune" with a score composed by Pink Floyd. As with many of the more outre Floyd ideas this was never meant to be. "Celestina" by 17 Pygmies is like that, but better.

First off "Celestina" does exist, it just doesn't have an actual film for it to be a soundtrack to. But this is a Good Thing. The power of really, truly "psychedelic" space rock was that your brain created images to fit the music. You could never be disappointed by iffy special effects or poor casting. Your subconscious was the director and you were along for the ride. Given a solid concept album it was a hell of ride.

And "Celestina" is a hell of a (rocket) ride. Spacey, cinematic and remarkably orchestral (yet having no orchestra) this recording doesn't tackle the story of a rich duke's son destined to become a messiah but is focused on more down-to-earth-subject matter: love and longing. The majority of vocals found on this eleven part exploration are female and lovely, a trick that vintage space rockers never bothered with. Too bad for them, because the results are appropriately angelic.

Listening to this CD I found myself wondering about the souls of planets, about how far we travel for love and contemplating if longing has a terminal velocity. The pieces feel like love songs composed for nebulae. But nebulae that are sensual and visceral.

It's the heart that keeps this from being and ode to things: a tribute to trippy albums, an homage to vintage sci fi flicks. There is gentle passion here that keeps "Celestina" from being being a museum piece like much psychedelic music (and far too much science fiction).

I could run on all day about how much I enjoy the opportunity to experience this collection, but I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that all of this irrelevant. You're thinking that the only measure of an album like this one is how it sounds on headphones. Specifically how it sounds on headphones when you're all alone with the lights turned low.

It sounds amazing.

Also the packaging is stellar (which is par for the course with Trakwerx).


17 Pygmies: