6 September 2016, No. 189, Dexter Wansel, ‘Theme from the Planets’

Sure, everyone’s in it for the free drums that kick it off, but I’m especially enthralled by the nonmelodic sound effects Dexter Wansel creates in the break toward the end of No. 189, “Theme from the Planets.” The synth lead sounds are a little on the hokey side (especially in the highest registers), and the horns are a little too slick with reverb, kind of like an overproduced fusion record. But those elements that make it sound a little like Spyro Gyra or Yellowjackets are the same elements that bring me back to it. Who doesn’t like treacle?

Also, it’s not as extreme as the 45 rpm to 33 rpm pitch shift on ESG’s “UFO,” but the most astute among you may have noticed that this entry in the list is for the pitched-up Ultimate Breaks and Beats version of this tune. The original, being much slower, would have appeared earlier on the list.

Finally, as far as I can tell, Wansel’s “Theme from the Planets” has nothing to do with Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” but mentioning Holst is a good excuse for me to slip Patrick Gleeson's Beyond the Sun LP into the list, since it would never make it otherwise, even though I enjoy it.