Another band that incorporates a mixture of spacy electronic pop with progressive flashes that can inject a great amount of fun into the often-overbearing complexity of listening to endless epic tracks loaded with eccentric chops, mutinous transitions and dizzying instrumental displays. We all need a little down time, a respite from having to kneel to the commercial throne of sheeple music. There is a semi-legendary space rock band called the Rockets, a Franco-Italian combo that made a slew of albums from 1976 onwards, still releasing music at a regular clip today and remaining very popular in Europe as it straddles over a wide variety of decades, audiences, and styles. If you were ever interested in bands such as Didier Marouani and Space, Space Art, Paris France Transit, Visitor 2035, and Air, then Red Zone Planet will undoubtedly be a curiously tasty addition, as they seem to have a fond affectation for this quirky style that they now have engineered into their debut album. Highly addictive, with a honed ear for attractive melodic sounds, this is a panacea for some non-cerebral relaxation and carefree listening.

There are many highlight tracks on this menu that really define the quality of the music displayed, such as the slick opener “Silverine” which will seep into your nodes like a suave anaesthetic, led by a sweeping cinematic synthesizer melody, pushed along by a lovely retro disco beat, with accented vocals (and a vocoder detail) only adding to the charm. Its mischievous, dynamic, and imminently hummable. Then, you have the title track that aspires to infuse some space rock influences (the ground controller effects notwithstanding) almost expecting a variation on Peter Schilling’s classic Major Tom. Except this is way more experimental, a liftoff lush with tons of smoke spewing synths, ringing guitars and a solid metronome beat. The floating in space segment is brilliantly rendered with a reverberating melody, hovering up in the stratosphere, free and clear from earth’s orbit.

The pulsating clangor of “Lonely Robot” sounds incredibly familiar (the Payolas?), as binary drum beat as you could possibly imagine, like a disco version of a quirky Pink Floyd song, bopping bass like a crazed punk leading the charge. The funky guitar chops are spectacular in their simplicity, a perfect set up for a wicked synthesizer solo that explores a variety of circuitous routes.

The truly killer track is the bouncily addictive “La Femme Atomique”, which emerges straight out of the space disco style mentioned in the intro, a perfect platform for a vocoder voice, twirling electronics, robust bass lines and a dance floor beat. Add the “Theme from Shaft” like guitar flickers as well as the ensuing power chords and this thrilling track picks up speed, conga section notwithstanding. Never laborious or boring, the mood keeps shuffling with dabs of violin orchestrations, with extended instrumental explorations. Amazing.

Not far from quality synth-pop territory, “Singularity” seduces with a Franco-Italian accented vocal that is actually most appealing in its originality. The combination of eruptive synth layers and some sizzling guitar lines lead to quite the chorus, an immediate and impactful attraction occurs, due to the sheer quality of the melodic content. I was singing along to this like a silly teenager, and I loved it, foot tapping for rhythmic validation. This segues quickly into the rambling electronic piece, “Save the Planet” again combining robotic vocoder voices with clear lead vocals, catapulting the rhythm with swerving basslines and booming drums, extolling the need to protect our blue earth. Musically linear with some wonderful lines as well as tossing in a variety of instrumental effects, the message is hammered without pity or hesitation.

The final track may be the best of the lot as “Someone’s Calling” has a drop-dead gorgeous melody, both haunting and despondently emotive” Combining the massive chorus that verges on celestial with the romantic synth line that grabs hold of one’s heart, is well worth investigating repeatedly as this is quite heavenly, especially when the soaring guitar lead enters the fray, like a bleeding heart looking for respite.

As far as pure unadulterated enjoyment is concerned, this is the kind of release that is needed when feeling the need to step away from the instrumental gymnastics I listen to most of the time. Beautifully expressive covert art completes the deal.

4 mythological female astronauts