Kurt Eckhardt created one of the more memorable records in recent memory when he put forth Contact:Light as Astral Skulls. Full of futuristic soundscapes and science-fiction references, the record is textured, thought provoking and eerily prophetic in nature and remains as one of the more creative efforts from the past 12 months. Enough time has passed for people to move on to other things, which means the time is ripe for a re-listen. Today Astral Skulls is unveiling the clip for the newest single from Contact:Light, ‘The Other Side’, and has given me the honour of premiering it here.
‘The Other Side’ is a strong choice to highlight, as it offers a cross-section of sounds and themes that feature throughout Contact:Light. Opening with a series of arcade-esque bleeps and bloops – a mix of neon pops and computer error –‘The Other Side’ soon sets into an unsettling groove and Kurt’s purposefully monotone vocals offer up phrases about “life and death and something in-between”.
As for the clip itself, Kurt has put together imagery of what seems to be Cold War-era space footage. Frames of astronauts, spaceship consoles, the moon’s surface and the Earth dwindling away in the dark expanse sets a suitable backdrop for the sounds – relaying back perfectly to Kurt’s tales of travelling through space in search of saviours and answers. As a funny aside, Kurt asks the listener to “question everything that you believe” – perhaps the stylistic space footage is referencing the legitimacy of the moon landing? Probably not, but it’s fun to imagine.
Kurt tells us throughout the song that in space “nothing is what it seems”, and as space is a great unknown it’s easy to assume that one must shed all preconceived notions of reality in order to comprehend the endless expanse. As the song fades out to more synthetic blips, a grim comprehension settles in that it sounds a little bit like space-age morse code, sending a signal of distress into the uncaring void. Scientific minds and fiction writers have tried to predict what is on the other side of the void, but Kurt reckons that whatever is out there defies definition. This video is a great accompaniment to a terrific song. Astral Skulls is a forward thinking musician and I anticipate what he is cooking up in his mind for his next release.