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N.A.S.A. ‘Spirit of Apollo’ Ready for Lift Off?

With a list of collaborators longer than an elephant’s memory, N.A.S.A.’s first album might just be about to hit the big time….

DJ Zegon and Squeak E. Clean: Aeronautical enthusiasts, presumably...

DJ Zegon and Squeak E. Clean: Astronautical enthusiasts, presumably...

On February 17th 2009, N.A.S.A — comprised of supreme mixers DJ Zegon and Squeak E. Clean — launched arguably the most ambitious musical project of the year so far. Their album, ‘Spirit of Apollo’, features a who’s-who of rap, indie and pop collaborators — from Kanye West and KRS One through to Karen O, Tom Waits, George Clinton and M.I.A. — that would lead anyone to believe the album is set for superstardom.

Yet, at the time of writing, the album lies 10,040th in Amazon.co.uk’s music chart, and has received remarkably little exposure on the UK music scene. That might well change with the inexplicable emergence of new song ‘Gifted’ (originally released on 20th January), however, which features the aforementioned West in an interesting mix with American singer Santagold and Swedish indie talent Lyyke Li. If it can get some mainstream exposure, the song has all the hallmarks of a hit.

The song opens with a classic upbeat rap from Chicago’s finest (“When ya’ll on ten, I’m on 11, I’ma make the news, be on at seven”), interestingly without the auto-tuner that dominated his 808s and Heartbreak album. Lykke Li handles the chorus with a cosmic-pop vibe, and Santogold handles second verse duties — with the overall theme being that all three acts are somewhat, um, gifted.

 

Spirit of Apollo: Ambitious

Spirit of Apollo: Ambitious

The video, however, is another intriguing element to the overall package. An illustrated story, it follows an astronaut stranded on an unfamiliar planet — with a style that can’t quite shake off Arnie’s Total Recall. Nevertheless, it is another compelling reason to listen to (well, view) the song.

Reviews of the full album have not been overwhelmingly positive (Rolling Stone gave it a solid three stars, but the Observer bemoaned its lack of true invention) but if ‘Gifted’ is anything to go by, then it would appear that the North American and South American duo (hence the name) might yet make their big step on the UK music stage.

 

N.A.S.A. ‘Gifted’ video:

 

‘Spirit of the Apollo’ is out now.

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May 6, 2009 - Posted by | Comment, Music | ,

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