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Planetarium Music

Some artists' names are so apt they make discussions of their sound seem superfluous. With his solo project Planetarium Music, Alex Bundy, keyboardist for the Portland ambient space rock band Yume Bitsu, makes music, in his own words, "designed for planetariums and other ideal artificial environments." Bundy's lush, orchestral electronic soundscapes hearken back to the ambient synthetic experiments of pioneering early '70s German artists such as Popul Vuh, Cluster, and Tangerine Dream. While his layers of droning cosmic synth tones can lull you into a narcotized stupor, Bundy keeps you on your toes by occasionally setting off the rippling drift music with bursts of skittering glitchy rhythms or forays into more aggressive distorted noise. All in all, Planetarium Music makes for fine accompaniment to a little stargazing after communing with old mother bong.

Bundy has made four albums to date. The first two were electro-acoustic drone experiments he recorded under his own name. In 2000, he began revisiting early '70s German ambient under the Planetarium Music alias, recording a now out-of-print CD as part of the Dryystonian Bedroom series (curated by Adam Forkner of Yume Bitsu and Surface Of Eceon). The second Planetarium Music exercise, titled Traditional Electronic Psychedelic Music (Planet 2), is a lovely 50-minute exploration of intergalactic electronic ambience.