ATTILIO MINEO: Man in Space with Sounds (SUB-081-LP) LP
Recorded in 1951 but only released in conjunction with the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair as the musical accompaniment to the Bubbelator, a transparent, spherical elevator that carried as many as 150 passengers, Attilio Mineo’s Man in Space with Sounds remains one of the most foreboding and complex records in the cosmic exotica canon. A dark, dissonant exploration of interstellar travel rooted in the avant-garde ethos of Cage and Stockhausen, this is music that’s alien not only in its presentation but also in its orientation, fusing traditional instrumentation and sound effects to the point that one becomes indistinguishable from the other. Electronic elements pulse, hum, and sputter their way to complete domination of Mineo’s sonic palette, depicting a bleak, sterile future where mankind gives way to machinery. Man In Space With Sounds is one of those legendary LPs. A rare souvenir of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, this music served as the soundtrack to a ride called the Bubbleator, which transported fair visitors through an overview of the future, a technological utopia where science and space travel promised solutions to all of humanity’s plights. Needless to say, that future never arrived and this music (actually recorded in the early 1950s) still sounds as futuristic today as it must have back then. The all-original compositions fall somewhere between nervous Philip Glass and 1950s sci-fi movie music, arranged with string orchestra in a sometimes rhythmic, polyrhythmic, or merely ambient cloud of odd electronic space noises. Despite its intended technological optimism, the music is quite heavy and menacing, and the future ultimately feels pretty scary. Regardless, this recording proves Attilio Mineo to have been an unbelievably progressive and underappreciated composer and arranger. The amazing aural and visual content of this endearing package transcend everything. A rare, sought-after gem made accessible as a facsimile, with added bonus photos, in a limited pressing of 500 copies. Packaged for collectors by collectors.