I gave 10 star reviews to each of the previous Year In The Country (YITC) releases but, perhaps because musical renditions of drifting in space are more familiar than terrestrial-based material, this latest collection doesn't strike me as quite so original or essential. The textures remain in the field of ambient lo-fi electonica but I miss the ghostly folk elements.
What I do appreciate, though, is that the content is still resolutely analogue in concept. These thirteen interstellar voyagers are more likely to be found floating in tin cans than exploring the universe in hi-tech space rockets.
The theme of this latest compilation is "space exploration projects that have been abandoned and/or never fully realised". It is therefore concerned with "technological remnants" rather than celebrations of human progress.
This accounts for the fact that the overriding atmosphere is one of a cosmic drift. Unit One's Voyages Of The Moon, for example, has none of the momentum or thrill of discovery you might expect from the title.
The insistent pulse of YITC's own contribution (The March Of Progress/Frontier Dreams) sounds more on topic while Keith Seatman opts for a cross between Dr.Who and Glam Rock for O93A-Prospero.
Otherwise, much of the spooky noodling lacks the focus of the YITC earthbound sets although there's still plenty to enjoy and as usual, the product is handsomely packaged in a hand-finished box set.
A Year In The Country’s website