PATRICK R. PARK “Library Sounds” C57 (OTA)

I can’t believe it’s 2017 and we’re still talking about Stranger Things. Well, maybe I can – season 2 is on the cusp of release as I write this, after all. But talking about Stranger Things in the context of its music right now seems passé, as if it hadn’t already been beaten to death in 2016. Key word being “seems,” because I have good news – the 1980s-synth-soundtrack-indebted album is still alive and well, and some would say better than ever in the hands of someone who knows what to do with it. That someone is Patrick R. Pärk, erstwhile Kösmonaut, serial tape releaser, synthesizer manipulator, and all around good guy. LIBRARY SOUNDS easily falls under the tags “cinematic” and “electronic” (and by the way, I just saw BLADE RUNNER 2049 too, and this would be an equally appropriate soundtrack for that excellent depiction of a dystopian future), but don’t let those simplistic descriptors fool you – it’s an absolute aural treat, a fine addition to the genre’s canon.

All these sci-fi references make me wonder what sort of library we’re talking about here. Documentation of civilization is one thing, an idea perfectly relatable as a way to compile historical evidence. But what if that history is being viewed from the perspective of an extraterrestrial entity? What if that entity was viewing the history of Earth through its lens? What if that lens existed long after humanity, and Earth itself, had ceased to exist? What if humanity was just one of a multitude of interstellar species in a great nonterrestrial compendium? Pärk’s breadth of tone, at times placid and at others tense, billowing ever outward, could easily serve to assist research and discovery in a location such as this. We, as humans, just won’t have anything to do with it – you know, because of being long gone and stuff. Pärk is able to plumb the depths of those feelings, where we stare awestruck into the vast expanse of the universe, dumb, questioning, violent, until the universe decides it’s had enough of us and we are lost to time. How weird to be reminded of our inconsequence. How satisfying.

Patrick R. Pärk

--Ryan Masteller