(Saturn Never Sleeps)
August 2, 2011
As cliché as it may sound, first impressions truly matter. This fact is even more so amplified for those who attempt to navigate their entry into the world of art. And while DJ/producer King Britt and vocalist Rucyl have established themselves on the music scene individually, their collaborative effort is relatively new to most. In coming together, they have formed another identity, Saturn Never Sleeps. What is heard on their debut release, Yesterday’s Machine, can be abstractly identified as a cosmic journey through sound.
If you have been following the trajectory of musical tropes, you know that currently many of today’s artists are experimenting with an electric sound built around a mixture of synthesizers and bass-heavy rhythms. In many ways, however, this is a throwback to the experimentations of jazz artists in the late 1970s/early 1980s, ranging from Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock. Despite this dated source material and recent refurbishing, Saturn Never Sleeps manages to maintain a genuine sense of originality. The music is identifiably electronic, but with an injection of soul. It’s a new take on a relatively old concept.
The album takes flight with “Lotus,” a spaced-out blend conjuring whimsical feelings of want, thanks to its abstract lyricism and pulsating rhythms. As the project moves forward, the group introduces “Hearts On Fire” a beautifully haunting tribute to the search for love. Describing your sound with references to Sade may leave a potential fan leery, but, in this case, the comparison is quite valid. With a succinct delivery (clocking in at only 2:43), the song carries the same sort of shadowy elegance conveyed in “No Ordinary Love.” It is certainly a selection for the midnight hours.
(Video) Saturn Never Sleeps – “Grace”
My favorite selection from the album, however, would have to be “The Machines Are The Stars.” Built around a subtle melody and steady rhythm, the song is a masterpiece of minimalism. By using a simplistic, yet elegant compositional structure, the stunning vocals of Rucyl are appropriately highlighted with one of her best presentations. If I could only recommend one track for musical consumption, it would most definitely be this. It’s most effective in presenting the potency of what Saturn Never Sleeps brings to the table.
Serving as the album’s denouement, “Take It Out” is an intriguing end to an already stellar project as it is a slight departure from the album’s overall sound. Following an electro-pop template, akin to the colorful sounds of Swedish outfit Little Dragon, the song is an oddly delightful conclusion to an overall great album.
Download Saturn Never Sleeps – “Tory” here:
As a debut project, you really can’t ask for much more. Saturn Never Sleeps takes a progressive stance om music-making whilst maintaining a legitimate cohesion. And this, I believe is the most important aspect of a collaborative effort. The breathtaking production of King Britt is not simply mixed together with the haunting lyricism and vocals of Rucyl. That would be the standard mode of collaboration. Instead the two forms of art are used as interdependent pieces of a much greater machine. There is a certain synergy within the relationship of King Britt to Rucyl that makes Saturn Never Sleeps a singular sound strand. Yesterday’s Machine is the definition of a harmonious union and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for music’s next great duo.
Words by Paul Pennington
For more info on Saturn Never Sleeps head over their site here.