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Paul K: The Fermi Paradox

Do you ever gaze into the night sky and wonder what’s out there? Are we alone? And if we aren’t where exactly is everybody? Well, that’s what the Fermi paradox is alluding to. It was named after physicist Enrico Fermi and sort of goes like this - there are billions of stars in our galaxy and there are billions of galaxies in our universe. This equates to a massive number of Earth-like planets. This all points to a high probability of extra-terrestrial civilizations but there is no evidence of such. Why is there indeed so much silence? On Paul K’s new album titled The Fermi Paradox he tackles this weighty issue in a very elegant and subtle way and in the process has made some quite wonderful music.

This album should be assessed as a whole and not so much as individual tracks, at least in my opinion. The reason for this is the flow of the album is very much unidirectional and I mean that in a good way. The songs naturally evolve from one to the next and although there are subtle differences the pieces are very much interconnected. The dynamics are generally quite subdued, sometimes ambient in nature, whether it be electronic instruments or more natural timbres. There is a nice use of acoustic guitar, rhythmically speaking, throughout the album. The press release calls this ‘atmospheric electronica’ which I think is a pretty apt description. This album is built on atmosphere and softer soundscapes, taking its time to reveal its intricacies. The space themes should also appeal to fans of progressive music and science fiction. Song titles like “Dark Matter”, “The Great Silence”, “Parallax”, “Arecibo”, KIC 8462852” and “Drake Equation” is just a sample of the mystery this album invokes.

Fans of anything outer space related and mellower musical forms should find a lot to appreciate here. It’s really quite a thought provoking album and one I whole heartedly recommend.

Track Listing:
1. Anomaly
2. Sagan
3. Ecce Homo
4. The Fermi Paradox
5. Twelve Billion Eyes
6. Exegesis
7. Embryonic
8. KIC 8462852 (Boyajian’s Star)
9. Parallax
10. Dark Matter
11. FRB
12. The Great Silence
13. Drake Equation
14. Arecibo

Added: September 25th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 965
Language: english

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Paul K: The Fermi Paradox
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2020-02-01 10:22:24
My Score:

For those, like myself, not aware of The Fermi Paradox, the basis of this latest album from British composer Paul K (Paul Kirkpatrick) is the contradiction between the vast likelihood that out there somewhere must be intelligent extra terrestrial life and the fact that we humans have found basically zero hard evidence of any such beings. All of which is conveyed via a vast and varied musical soundscape intertwined with spoken word sections that come courtesy of leading cosmologists who muse about the topic at the heart of this album. Themes of individual isolation are also explored as they are held up against the search to prove we, as a species, are not alone, and while in real terms this is an instrumental journey, K’s ability to relate these themes wordlessly through music which moves from synthesiser led ambient sprawls to pointed, powerful, progressive rock is the main strength of this excellent release.

It all comes together to make for a cinematic journey that sounds suitably spacious and centred in the vastness of the great unknown. The spoken word sections remind of the impact Roger Waters can provide through similar ideas but here they are often offset against a more swirling, string led foundation. That said, certain sections hit in a much more rock oriented style but that gentle diversity never feels jarring or engineered, with a smooth transition found both within each track and as these differing cuts move across the galaxies.

Thought provoking in its subject matter and hugely engaging in its musical structure The Fermi Paradox may well pose some huge and at times worrying questions that we’d rather avoid answering. However, as an aural experience to lose an afternoon with it really is quite the compani

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