v/a: The Soft Rains of Delta Cephei

CD: Radio Khartoum khz401

Delta Cephei is a double star which can be easily separated using a small telescope. It is also the prototype of a class of variable stars called cepheids, which are also known as the "yardsticks of the universe". The variability of Delta Cephei was discovered in 1784 by John Goodricke, who unfortunately caught pneumonia while making his observations, and died at the tender age of twenty-one. Delta Cephei is best viewed between August and January.

The Soft Rains of Delta Cephei is the fifth volume of the 18fps series, a collection of imaginary soundtracks under the curatorship of Radio Khartoum. As with the other volumes in the series, all tracks in this release are exclusive, and warranted to be suitable for your young astronomers. Although the music is best observed with a compact disc player and compatible stereo system, Radio Khartoum provides the following supplemental information:

Souvenir find themselves caught between the ocean and the Milky Way in the chilly star bossa, Aux étoiles. Although now known to reside in Pamplona, Spanish province of Navarra, Patricia de la Fuente and Jaime Cristóbal seemed to come out of nowhere in 2000 with a wonderful self-titled mini-album released by Jabalina Música (licensed by Shelflife in the US). The Francophone act rounded out 2000 by snapping up "newcomer" awards in their homeland. 2001 has seen the release of their debut album and a new EP for Jabalina.

Spacehonky is the alias of Mike Perez, formerly of Southern Californian outfit Cha Cha Cha (who had several releases on Japan's Motorway label). As Spacehonky, Mr. Perez' appearances have been few but choice: compilation appearances with the Escalator and Riviera (Mini Tenor) labels, and some percussion work for that April March & Los Cincos album from a few years back. For his Radio Khartoum outing, Spacehonky takes us on an electronic journey through zero gravity before locking into orbit around one of Jupiter's moons.

Hitoribocchi first appeared with Mars au printemps on 2000's The Stations of Abandoned Days. Radio Khartoum received numerous complaints concerning that track's deficient length. Mr. Hitoribocchi has responded with Je n'ai pas peur des S.F.antômes, a icy classical groove for heavy spacecraft in deep space. While roughly twice as long, both in title and playing duration, this new piece should prove equally deficient, and we look forward to your complaints. Thus far, Hitoribocchi has no releases outside the 18fps series, but he does sometimes play with Parisian songwriter Julien Ribot.

800 Cherries usually make their home, metaphorically speaking, with Clover Records. More literally, Manami Marufuji and Masayuki Takahashi make their home in Sapporo, Japan. If we move, momentarily, to the hallucinatory level, we might observe that our mythical space pilot frequently finds herself – without warning – back on Earth at some holiday picnic previously thought to have been locked away in the past. 800 Cherries capture this moment with a laid-back, lunar remake of a song from their second album, Sakana (which has been out of print since before the West's discovery of this band). Skipping back to the present of our press release, we note that Takahashi-san has been assisting with Replicant's debut album, which should be out on Radio Khartoum sometime in 2002.

Instant Life and a fugitive rocket scientist dodge military-industrial corporate thugs on the U-Bahn in West Germany, 1974? Produced by Stockholm residents Magnus Boman and Thomas Œberg, this retro-futurist thriller theme is the first thing heard from Instant Life since their epilogue to the first 18fps disc (The Flight of Everson K). The duo's third album is long overdue, thanks to the persistent homeland success of Mr. Œberg's other band, Bob Hund. Instant Life's second album (I Made Arrangements For World Peace) was recently reissued on Boman's own Dilettante Productions imprint. Dr. Boman is also a real-life robotics specialist, we kid you not. Although the album may be missing, three more Instant Life tracks are ear-marked for inclusion in future 18fps episodes.

Cessna are the Finnish band whose debut album (on double 3" CD), Bordeaux, marked the birth of Radio Khartoum. RK fellow travellers will need no introduction, but for the uninitiated, we mention that the second CD by Tampere's finest, The Loves, Longings and Regrets of Cessna is still in print. A new album is due out on Radio Khartoum in 2002.  Nu Science is an analog synth trio from Helsinki featuring Mikko Ojanen, otherwise known as the unofficial fifth member of Cessna. Nu Science's releases typically feature shop-unfriendly packaging, with CDs housed in recycled 5" floppy disc sleeves, and 12"s with die-cut pop-up bar scenes which could be out-takes from Tron. Those who prefer music to packaging will be pleased to find that Nu Science's music isn't bad either, in fact, one track has recently been used in a short film by Radio Khartoum associate Angelique Clark. But we digress. The track featured here, Maatamo, is the first all out collaboration between the two bands and as such falls somewhere between the instrumentals from Cessna's last CD and the all out synthesizer madness of Nu Science. The meeting of aesthetics is surprisingly successful, the result being this triumphant voyager theme. One more detail, assuming that the boys aren't pulling our leg: "maatamo" is Finnish for "the view of the earth from the moon". Rich language, Finnish, don't you think?

For further information about the artists or label, interviews, etc., please contact Radio Khartoum.