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Polestar - Space Expanses


Boltfish are one of those labels that threatens to release a truly great album at some point. With over 40 releases, their repertoire ranges from IDM to more experimental material, and in Jon Elliot’s new album, they may have found one that makes its mark on a wider radar.

Although derivative and indebted to the early 90’s sound of British electronica, “Space Expanses” is worth listening to because the tracks contained within have so many hooks. Apparently conceived with a nostalgic look at the future in mind brought on by listening to progressive rock, it’s an album full of soaring synths, electro-style beats and the odd Autechre-like nod to glitch, and whilst not pushing any boundaries it has at least 6 or 7 memorable tracks containing solid compositions.

From the Arovane-esque “Stellar Configuration” to the string-laden and quite gorgeous electro of “EVA Dance”, “Space Expanses” is a reflective and at times melancholic journey through musical nostalgia that had me reaching for my 7th Plain LPs. “Return to the Moon” and “Space Junk 1970” recall the halcyon days of early Autechre, and there’s a playfulness in the peripheral sounds he uses, from 8-bit computer games to more strung out glitch. Behind the sheen there’s not a great deal going on beneath emotively, but as a nostalgia trip both thematically and musically, “Space Expanses” is worth hunting down.

Toby Frith

Polestar myspace

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