You have already heard Phillip Wilkerson’s Wondrous Encounters because it graciously pulls from and offers homage to the pure spirit of its spacemusic progenitors. As he puts it, this is “a collection of space music, atmospheres, and soundscapes suitable for stargazing, or cloud watching, or cruising around in a flying saucer.” Once this album launches, you’ll spend the next hour and 45 minutes (thank you, bonus tracks) drifting through Wilkerson’s classically vast cosmic vistas, guided by his always-soft hand on the controls. From the clear, shining tones of “First Glimpse of the Milky Way” to the densely layered stratosphere of “Low Gravity Field,” Wilkerson conjures memories of the genre’s pioneers–Stearns, Serrie, Demby et ux. And it’s wonderful. Put on the headphones, close your eyes, and just go. It’s a seamless ride that will take you out of yourself for a while. I have to call out “Range Safety Clear,” the first bonus track, for the way it revels in delicious retro appeal. When I say that the keyboard sound that fronts it is a little cheesy, I mean that in an absolutely adulatory way. There’s a beautifully tinny sound to it that simply drips with the essence of 70s electronic music. Perfect sequencer lines run beneath, and for 15 minutes I’m back discovering electronic music for the first time. This one is a must-hear for spacemusic fans, and it’s a great addition to Wilkerson’s already impressive catalog of superb ambient.
Available from Bandcamp.