We’re living in a new chapter in the history of psychedelic music, and artists like the mysterious Sp8ce Owl are making it their goal to evolve the genre as much as possible with whatever tools they’ve got at their fingertips in 2022. Hence, in the new single “Miami 1987 (Earth 246),” this producer/performer/songwriter isn’t letting one instrumental component determine the cerebral depth of the music, but instead using all of them to turn the entire track into a sonic whirlpool from which escape is less than easy. Sp8ce Owl has been an act I’m interested in for a hot minute now, and if you’re wondering why, this song should explain it for you.
The mixing here is sublimely simple and doesn’t overemphasize the bass, which gives the fat bottom-end in this track a lot of extra room to slither about uncorrupted by the other elements of the arrangement. I feel like Sp8ce Owl must have gone over this piece a few times with a careful ear for texture, because every potentially raised component of the harmony feels as present as the drums do, which isn’t easy to do in a heavily synthesized work like “Miami 1987 (Earth 246).” Nothing is escaping this artist’s grasp, and they want us to know that here.
This groove is arguably as eclectic as any of the melodies are, and together they frame a borderless mass that sounds so much fuller than most of the electronic music I’ve been blasting since the start of the year. While I don’t think that Sp8ce Owl wants us getting hung up on the rhythm of the instruments here, there’s no denying the importance of the juxtaposition in this mix, which puts the at times flagrant lashing of the percussion right at the center of our attention when we’re expecting it the least.
To me, Sp8ce Owl is setting the standard for instrumental charisma in their scene nowadays, and “Miami 1987 (Earth 246)” is a terrific example of why critics like myself have been going nuts every time they decide to drop something fresh on us. The compositional value is amazing, and better yet, it’s not getting congested in the midst of all the colorful melodic whimsy in the performance. As a producer, Sp8ce Owl is on top of their game like nobody else right now, and as a performer and conceptualizer, I think this is one artist that I can confidently say I’m planning on hearing in the mainstream before 2023 is over.