Ariel Aparicio is the heart of Ashpark, and the band's sound is a sparkling conglomerate of many modes coalescing into a mellifluous ringing whole elevating as it syncretizes. Life in Satellites brings together light bouncy shoegaze in atmospheric ambiances floating from cut to cut but also clearly harbors a pop center, most clearly illustrated in Still Unknown, which would make a very refreshing chart track in most any venue. There's a sense of celestiality pervading Life in Satellites, that shimmering otherwordly atmosphere such enterprises work to achieve as (often unknowing) descendents of Terry Riley's groundbreaking drone musics of the 60s and 70s.
Aparicio plays "secondary" guitar and sings with an often gently wistful tone, a dreamer preferring his visions to reality as Chris Burke crafts lead lines and chords around and through the compositions, Josh Jordan underwriting the scenery in fat broad bass notes as Chris Barnes' percussives form the punctuative content as well as the more naked rhythm sectioning. Burke, however, handles a wealth of keyboards in addition to guitar, drifting Sigur Ros-ian effulgences across the landscaping of each cut.
Music such as Ashpark's creates a spontaneous upwelling of the spirit. a feeling of expansion and melding, an embrace of the larger content of life…that collapses into itself in the introspectively personal cuts such as Kilometers Deep. Aparico and the lads, though, prefer to keep parameters wide, and the flow of the disc is homogenously upbeat in a wistful context, eyes open, hope forever foremost, experience the text for melodic parables and ground level everyday philosophizing. And if the damn music side of the radio dial carried stuff like this, I'd listen to it far more often instead of burbling talk jock pundits.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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