Sp8ce Owl makes music where the very notes seem to dance. Everything seems to be in motion, with delicate but insistent beats, the bass throbs, the sweeping pads, the acrobatic melodies. His latest single, ‘Dancing In An Empty Room’, from his upcoming album ‘A Room Without Walls’, is one such track, and it’s a master class in the art of generating the illusion of motion, even when the musician making the sound is sitting perfectly still at his synthesizer.
Taking his inspiration from the giants of electronic music, the echoes of the greats are able to be heard in Sp8ce Owl’s music. He’s also influenced by the world around him, and you can also hear the sounds of nature, the changing of the seasons, and the particular rhythms of where he lives, Sonoma County, in the heart of Northern California’s wine-making region, an area filled with soft, green hills, fields of wildflowers, and impossibly tall trees.
There’s a sense of wonder in everything Sp8ce Owl writes and records. His debut EP, ‘A Future Past’, released in the summer, was filled with it, and it blows like a spring wind through ‘Dancing In An Empty Room’. Here is Sp8ce Owl at his very best, spinning melodies and beats, drawing us deeper into a hand-crafted world of intriguing sound.
The video for ‘Dancing In An Empty Room’ takes us outdoors, but it’s not as we know it. In Sp8ce Owl’s version, nature is somewhat haunted, illuminated by slanting light and cloaked in strange shadows, curiously static and dream-drenched. The central character of the clip is a ballerina, her moves choreographed to reflect the peculiar feeling of places where she’s dancing: the grace of the forest, the slow advance of small waves at the seaside, the austerity of desert dunes, and the near-supernatural power of a quasar at the centre of a spinning galaxy. Sp8ce Owl draws connections between images, dance, and sound, finding missing links, expanding our capacity for associations, and ‘Dancing In An Empty Room’ is possibly his most mind-expanding work yet.