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Star Chronicles: Orion may sound to some like a straight to video sequel to a shoddy B-movie consigned to the depths of history, but it is in fact the first instalment of latest project from Detroit techno visionary Jeff Mills. Taking its inspiration from the constellation Orion, the EP moves through six untitled tracks of stripped down, futuristic techno with distinct sci-fi leanings. Opening with what sounds like a series of radio transmissions from a distant nebula, the record soon launches into life with a 4/4 kick drum holding together its interstellar frequencies, whilst the third track combines brittle percussion with bass heavy synth oscillations. The B-Side begins with a track of hypnotic wormhole techno, whose wobbling monophonic synth line creates the impression of a distant distress signal at the heart of a far off galaxy; this is followed by a beatless track which recalls early bleep techno, contrasted with strings and keys that evoke library music oddities, whilst the EP is closed with a short track with aquatic Drexciyan undertones. An audacious concept, but in the hands of a master like Mills, the extraterrestrial sounds evoke some striking imagery. Highly recommended.
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