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Yesterday's Machine

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Album Review

Formed in 2009 for improvisational performances dedicated to Sun Ra, Saturn Never Sleeps rapidly became one of the most substantial projects from veteran musicians/producers Rucyl and King Britt. A diverse list of peers could be checked off, including Little Dragon, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kissey Asplund, Sa-Ra, and even Sade. They cite not just Sun Ra, but fellow electronic music pioneers Delia Derbyshire and Herbie Hancock, as inspirations. The scope could be widened in a speculative sense to include the spacious alien pop of Japan’s Tin Drum, the whimsical interludes that dot a handful of Rotary Connection albums, and the experimental electronic music released on labels like Raster-Noton and Mego. Yesterday's Machine offers avant R&B that is soft-focus and subdued. Rucyl’s voice, sweetly nuanced and sometimes slightly pained, never eclipses lullaby volume level and is cradled with a stimulating array of abstract sounds. “Tory” is one of only two songs with a steady kick drum, yet it’s easy to get lost in its web of bounding synthetic bass, handclaps, ricocheting percussion accents, and soft keyboard interjections, as well as Rucyl herself — is the repeated “Are you gonna show me what to do?” a come-on, a dare, or a facetious jab? “The Machines Are the Stars” is a gorgeous ambient slow jam for science nerds, where gently knocking drums, gossamer-like guitar, and clipped gasps are all that’s necessary: “Black holes don’t explain, and neither do we/Can’t explain the energy of true love.” Most stunning is the album’s closer, “Take It Out,” where Rucyl pleads for her lover to open up — “Take it out on me” is sung like a resignation, as if her mind has kept her up all night — over a sullen post-punk groove that evokes early Cure as produced by Italo disco duo Klein + M.B.O.

Customer Reviews

The amazing Saturn Never Sleeps

“Like Massive Attack… with balls!” – Gal Ofer from Tel Aviv

Saturn Never Sleeps came about when music producer King Britt and singer/artist Rucyl collaborated in 2009 for two improvisational performances specifically dedicated to the music and sound of fellow Philadelphian Sun-Ra. Carrying on in the tradition of Sun Ra’s vision of process as art, they decided to continue their project, which led to a year of amazing opportunities, performing at Moogfest (USA), Stadtmusik Festival (Basel, Switzerland), Art Basel (Miami), Micro-cosmos (Tokyo) and residencies in Philadelphia/NYC.

The duo have been inspired by the works of classic electronic innovators like Herbie Hancock, Raymond Scott, Delia Derbyshire, the present day forward-thinking electronic scene as well as experimental composers, dub and rocksteady. These inspirations have transpired in a solid stage show combining laptop/electronics with heart melting vocals and improvised electronic instrumentation, heavy bass vibrations and sonic ambience.The live two person show consists of King Britt on samples, beats, and textures with Rucyl layering vocals and added electronics. Often both performers vary their live rigs with home-brew music applications and experimental noise makers. Their sound resonates with fans of artists like Massive Attack, Little Dragon, Sun Ra and Philip Glass. Recently opening for TV on the Radio and Sun Ra Arkestra, music collectors and young audiences alike are taking notice of their unique approach to songs.

Yesterday’s Machine, combines an experimental create-in-the-moment vibe with inspirational lyrics and vocal sonics that range from Sade tones to Flora Purim’s ethereal layers. The result is well-crafted, intelligent, genre-pushing, electronic soul rooted in the duo’s collective years of experience and musical expanse.

cool.

if anything this reminds me of Air way more than Massive Attack, i just really dont see the similarities to Massive Attack enough and the vocals are very one dimensional, compared to massive attacks array of collaborations and just amazingly unigue and differently structured vocal tracks for almost every song they make.

i love Sun Ra to death but this is difinetely not blowing massive attack away by any means, no offense to these guys hard work but even massive attacks new album is more interesting than this album.

like i said this is something good to add to the collection but i cant see myself listening to this specefic album for long periods of time or putting even one song on it on repeat for weeks, dont judge either because i am very open minded and even listen to just strictly ambient music at times. so dont think im making judgements on these guys because its so simple, ive heard simpler tracks take me away further than this album has, im just being a honest and tough critic is all.

Biography

Formed: 2009 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Saturn Never Sleeps formed in 2009 for improvisational performances dedicated to jazz giant Sun Ra. A collaboration between Afro-futurist Philadelphians King Britt (production) and Rucyl Mills (vocals, electronics; formerly of the Goats), Saturn Never Sleeps rapidly developed over the course of the following two years. They established the SNS label, played festivals around the globe, and refined their sound — a mix of left-of-center R&B with experimental electronic music. The first SNS...
Full Bio
Yesterday's Machine, Saturn Never Sleeps
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