Hometown: Melbourne, VIC, AU
A Planet in Space formed in 2007, and the four-piece has quickly become one of the most intriguing acts on the Australian live scene. At the beginning of 2009, the group is ready to bring its unmistakable music to the world with its debut E.P., As the Pieces Come Together.
The music of A Planet in Space seamlessly blends roots, rock, reggae, folk, soul, drum-and-bass, hip-hop, punk, dub, metal and improvisation – often within the one composition. The group itself is further enriched by a series of potent contrasts arising from its remarkable diversity of background and influences.
Take the name, for instance: its sci-fi flavouring might raise expectations of a trippy psychedelia and post-rock minimalism, yet the first, thrilling encounter with the group’s pounding rhythms and free-wheeling guitars dispels any impression of spaciness.
The intricate rhythmic and melodic interplays which underpin the music of A Planet in Space result from both painstaking preparation and frenetic live jamming, two apparent opposites which nevertheless fuse, permeating the group’s live performances with an effortlessly spontaneous energy and a joyful, uninhibited atmosphere.
The group’s unconventional lineup, too, defies the expectation which it might first create. Proudly sporting two full drum-kits and lead guitarist-vocalists, A Planet in Space is staffed by four musicians who have trained classically and in jazz. In this light, the extraordinary variety of their compositional palette could come as a surprise.
Yet Dan Fox Smith, Ben Thomas, Ben Castelluccio and Alex Hayes see this fusion as the organic outcome of their quest for a lyrical and musical journey which is exhilarating and honest, seeking to communicate their own, deep love of music to every audience.
As a result, their inimitable sound possesses an extraordinarily wide appeal, capable of spanning fashions, generations and cultures. It has already won the group recognition in Melbourne (not to mention two lengthy residencies and top billing at the 2008 Eltham Jazz & Blues Festival), and chart-topping popularity on Triply J’s Unearthed competition.
Not content merely with live success, however, A Planet in Space has also built its own recording studio, PlantOn Studios, and set up Melodious Thump Records to independently release its debut E.P.
As the Pieces Come Together features six tracks which give a tantalising taste of the group’s relentless creativity and energy, showcasing its refined musicianship and, most importantly, documenting the musical loves of its creators.
Its breathtaking cover art depicts the luminous glory of the Crab Nebula, but these musicians are keen to avoid the misconception that they are Star Trek geeks. Rather, they have chosen an image which symbolises the notion of disparate strands coming together to form a whole which is far greater than the sum of its parts.
And behind the feints of their initial veneer, that notion is the basic truth which underlies A Planet in Space.
“I have this one on high rotation. Ridiculously highly recommended.
4.5 well-groomed goatees out of 5.”
Alastair Reed - The Dwarf
“A Planet in Space create exactly the kind of genre-hopping mash-up that is the scourge of pigeon-holing music journalists and narrow-minded enthusiasts of dispensable pop; and it is precisely this mix of styles and genres that makes them sound so new and thrilling.”
Al - Als Rant
...flawless execution of improvisation... I cant praise these fellows enough, great performance ethic and an awesome sound to back it up!”
Pat - 100 Gigs
“Absolutely awesome. Like The Mars Volta bring Latin style to progressive rock, these guys have brought Reggae with a fantastic result.”
Pat - 100 Gigs