Light, Sound, and Space are deeply rooted in the work of Jeff Mills. But what do these three quintessential elements mean? Is it possible to describe to someone what it is like to see for the first time, or to listen to music in a new way, or to travel throughout the galaxy without having to break through the earth's atmosphere? The man from the moon has deep-seated thoughts about these concepts and explains them through this massive compilation, Sight, Sound and Space. The project has Mills diving into his extensive catalog and selecting tracks which epitomize his feelings on each.
Sight is a beautiful faculty bestowed upon the human race. Mills wants his music to draw the correlation between sight and sound. In this opening part, we see him select tracks which often soundtrack classical sci- fi films, in which what we experience is the embodiment of all three: sight, sound, and space. As in with opening track Perfecture, composed for Fritz Langs’ Metropolis, where the track is to accentuate the perfection of the futuristic buildings
John Coltrane used to deconstruct music when he listened to it, listening to each aspect individually to absorb and appreciate it completely. Repetition, or the lack of it, is often at the heart of listening to music: it helps us understand its structure. An understanding of sound aids us in reaching into the realm of music which encapsulates things or experiences, and electronic music is the perfect tool for exploring these possibilities. Tracks like Microbe exude this point, with layered beats each with their own meaning and direction which make a tantalizing cut.
Space is one of the pinnacles of Mills’ interests. The similarities between it and techno are remarkable, the more we find out about each, the more possibilities they reveal. One Man Spaceship was constructed to give the listener the experience of navigating through the cosmos. A track that showcases the width and breadth of electronic music, that it is not just for dancing, but which can be immersive and imagination inducing.
Perpetuated here is electronic music as a guide. Space may frighten us as this gigantic continuum that is detached from us, but we must remember we are part of it. Being a miracle of life within this vast valley of infinite proportions, it is important to embrace what we have, to listen like Coltrane or to see with music. In broadening our horizons, we can truly see and hear what lay in front and beyond us.
Another installment in his The Director’s Cut series.