Aythar’s stellar debut on Carpe Sonum represents one of the more obvious distillations of the late Pete Namlook’s ambient space music mantras. With its expansive, irising synths and vast waves of interstellar sequences yawning out into the void, Astronautica recalls nothing less than many numerous classic 70s sides of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Neuronium, et al., yet the preening atmospheres, fraught with both palpable tension and a sense of wonder, sound fresh and consistently inviting. Such pedigree means that contemporary space music artists have quite a large stylistic well to draw from, simultaneously aware of the rich heritage of sounds behind them while being mindful to avoid the kind of hackneyed clichÃ©s that tend to run rampant in the field. Aythar has no such problem. Though the pads and multitudinous sequencer tools have familiar rings to them, the artist’s obvious love for, and fascination with, his machine-made fantasias demonstrate a passion for the kinds of twinkling deep-space noises that synth aficionados have embraced for decades.
Nowhere are the above ideas more evident than during the two-part, twenty-minute suite comprising “Alien Worlds”, where Aythar’s silicon ooze, curling, shifting, and creeping along a colorful firmament of delightfully obtuse electronic textures, indeed conjures images of the kinds of environments dreamed up in the literary works of writers such as Clifford Simak, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. Aythar has a keen understanding of how to manipulate the sound field as well: where the first part of “Alien Worlds” sets up the biosphere itself, the second chapter populates that planet with intelligent fauna and inimical flora, the sounds made by civilizations completely unlike our own. Later tracks such as “Mystical Clouds” and “Reactor”, with their endlessly swirling pulsations and ghostly patinas, bring those civilizations to quivering, fervent life, all thanks to Aythar’s command of his machine age voodoo.