Man, if only space were as funky as Guess What makes it sound. If the experience of space exploration was anything like listening to the latest collaborative effort of keyboardist Graham Mushnik and drummer Luke Warmcop I'd sign up for a Mars mission tomorrow. Elon Musk could drop a fishbowl on my head, stuff me in a dumpster and light 3 tons of dynamite underneath my ass, and I would not give a shit as long as I made it into orbit.
Alas, the interstellar regions beyond our atmosphere aren't nearly as sensual an environment as these Frenchmen make it out to be on their latest album, Children in Space. For one, there's no sound out there. Not only can no one hear you scream, but you can't hear the thump of a mad sound system either- it doesn't matter how big and hi-def it is. Different but related, there is no air in space. It makes it hard to boogie if you can never catch your breath. I guess I'll just have to settle for life on this side of the Kármán line. It's not so bad, not so long as I have the fat beats and heavy rhythms of Children in Space to help me appreciate all the breathable gas I get to swim in each day and which prevents the death of every cell in my puny Earthling body.
So what makes Children in Space so interesting? Well, for starters, it's a concept album about humans leaving Earth behind for life amongst the stars. It's also a tribute to Christa McAuliffe, the educator who infamously died in the Challenger explosion in 1986. The duo also manages to make the album a tribute to Sun Ra and his explorations of interstellar consciousness. None of this would be noteworthy if the music didn't hold up though, which at this point, I think you should be able to conclude from my tone that it does. Through bright, optimistic and elegant melodies and elastic and enticing polyrhythms, Guess What leaves little doubt as to their ability to transport you to another world. I don't think that I have to belabor the point that this trip is for me. The only question left is whether or not I should be saving you a seat.