I’m old enough to remember Erich Von Daniken and his potty theories about how earth’s civilizations were brought about through alien contact. There was quite a hoo-ha about it all when I was a kid, and his books flew off the shelves. I’ve just glanced at Wikipedia and was surprised to learn that he’s still with us, and only the same age as Leonard Cohen! Bizarre. Panspermia is the hypothesis that the seeds of life exist all over the universe, and that life on earth is nothing unique, nor even originally from here. Nice theory, but it hasn’t a whiff of evidence to support it (nor to discount it – it’s one of those hypotheses which are simply acts of faith). Exogenesis is something else entirely – the theory that life originated elsewhere and came to earth during the asteroid bombardment of the Pre-Cambrian era, before the planet had an adequate atmospheric shield. Anyway I digress. The reason I brought the topic up at all was that the panspermia theory is the inspiration behind Alien Genome Project, a self-released album by Craig Murphy (whose band Shoosh are featured on the Phantom Channel compilation) under the moniker ch.pm.
The album consists of drones, cosmic synth chords, and disembodied, distorted vocal samples. It has echoes of Kosmische Musik acts like (early) Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultze as well as their spiritual descendants such as Pete Namlook. But there are equally nods to Stars of the Lid, Eno’s Apollo and Murcof’s Cosmos projects. The eight tracks unfold slowly. Some are short and fragile; others, like the title track, have a suitably cosmic grandeur. “Hybrid”, the closing section, has a slowed down echoing voice that has the rhythm of whale song, and sounds like the last, fading sounds of a dying civilization. It’s quite a spooky end to a seriously trippy suite of music. Only it isn’t quite the end. There is also a bonus 36 minute mix of the album entitled “Alien Genome Project (Full Blown)”. The album is available from Musiczeit at the address below.
1 Source Of Light 1:33
2 Junk Code 7:20
3 Transference 5:19
4 Replicate 1:36
5 Mystic Structure 6:33
6 Source of Light (Reprise) 1:52
7 Alien Genome Project 10:18
8 Hybrid 6:29
9 Alien Genome Project (Full Blown) 36:07