What is “normal” in space? Most of our concepts of normality refer to Earth standards, and who knows what strange things are out there. One thing is certain; Space is not “normal” compared to what we see and experience every day. Alan Hanslik’s album “Space Anomaly” instantly puts our imagination to work. The album is like a treasure chest of space exploration, far beyond the reach of our strongest telescope.
Alan Hanslik is an American composer, musician, and producer. He began playing music growing up in Brooklyn, Ohio. Playing in local bands and eventually touring with Jon Washington of the British group, the Fortunes. Drawn to the electronic world of synthesizes, Alan wrote and produced his first electronic, techno and EDM singles and albums (see a complete list here). Alan has also composed soundtracks for features films and movies. We recently did a review of his album “Precious Memory“, which is also highly recommended!
This episode of Dream Mixtape is dedicated to “Space Anomaly”:
The title song, which is also the album opener, is more like an EP. The almost 10 minutes long song is a marvelous sci-fi adventure. There are many twists and turns along the way, filled with intricate, complex, and beautiful details. The soundscape Hanslik creates is exceptionally well-made. It is perhaps not easy listening, but give it some time and all its characteristics will amaze you too. If we ever discover an alien civilization, this is what the first encounter will feel like.
After such a powerful opening, moving on seems hard – but we have no choice; a “Cosmic Swarm” is next. Its bubbly, strange nature is both fascinating and frightening at the same time.
As soon as the “Cosmic Swarm” has cleared, a “Sleeping Giant “ is in front of us. Its ancient, majestic presence is something you have to experience for yourself. It is massive!
At this stage, we are so far out that we have lost all concepts of humanity. What’s normal and what’s an anomaly? It is hard to tell. Seeing a floating VGA cable, as seen on the cover, suddenly seems reasonable. “Swallowing Stars” gives us a unique view into deep space and some strange cosmic process. “Planetary Playground” is one of the coolest pieces on the album. Traveling at light-year speed suddenly seems like a walk in the park. I like how Hanslik uses very few (or only one) synth instrument. He is pushing it to the max, creating a consistent soundscape. That’s refreshing in an age with unlimited channels and instruments. I must also mention that there’s a healthy dose of Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” kind of humor here as well. Brilliant!
There are, not surprisingly, quite a few ambient songs on “Space Anomaly.” “Infant Stars” is fresh and different, shining as bright as a newborn star. When listening to “Inner Space” I can’t help thinking that this place is so strange that even the previous songs seem normal.
I love the chilled “Dormant Galaxy.” Spending some time there would be relaxing. “Cosmic Dust” is a contrast to this; is a very colorful piece, and it has speed too. “Nova Expanded” concludes the album. Now we have reached our destination. We seem to gain access to secret knowledge about space and existence itself. The sound is sharp, cutting through the nothingness. Again I’m amazed by Hanslik’s sound design and creativity. The album ends with a bang, or perhaps a scream is more accurate? It is very powerful.
In conclusion: Shannon Hale said that “NASA’s next urgent mission should be to send good poets into space so they can describe what it’s really like.” I think they should send Alan Hanslik too, given the quality of “Space Anomaly.” It is not exactly easy listening, but don’t panic; It offers a unique look into deep space and all the crazy things that are out there. Much of space music is too cold and without a trace of humor. “Space Anomaly” is different. Traveling through endless darkness suddenly seems fun and engaging. Give it a chance, and you’ll be amazed.
Score: 94/100 – See our scoring policy
Visit alanhanslik.com for more information and music samples.