Agitated Atmosphere: Noveller - Fantastic Planet

Agitated Atmosphere, Album Reviews
01/09/2015
Justin Spicer

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Noveller.

The land is blanketed in snow. Its continued fall is masking the first rays of the sun slowly peaking over the horizon. It’s a peaceful yet ominous morning. Deciding how best to proceed as you step out into the white malaise matters. Reckless abandon and you’ll wipe out; end up in a crash or stuck in a ditch. Too much caution and your wheels will sputter and spin, going nowhere fast.

The fearlessness from Sarah Lipstate’s latest Noveller album, Fantastic Planet (due January 27 on Fire Records), perfectly defines that even ground where preparation for the worst and expectations for the best meet to create Zen. Those times in the zone where no mistakes are made because all angles have been accounted for before the journey. The whipping winds do not obscure the beauty of gently falling snow. The footprints and tire tracks turning its virginal plateau into a dirty mess does not disrupt the elegance.

It’s the same vim and vinegar that permeates throughout Fantastic Planet. It’s the soundtrack to the everyday – not the mundane, but those moments of minute clarity that makes life worth living. Yes, laugh at the cliché if you must but Lipstate has been working to this moment for years. It’s been a steady climb from robust drones to carefully woven compositions that harken to her beginnings but capture her recent discoveries.

Though anyone can adopt the album as their own, truth is it feels like Lipstate’s biggest personal statement to date. An album so heartfelt that the fearlessness of venturing into the blank canvas of a fallen snow is nothing compared to putting one’s heart on sleeve and sharing it with the world. Those bundle of nerves and apprehensive second-guesses, they were worth the trust in preparedness. For all the wrongs we wrought, Fantastic Planet reminds us of the rights we create.

There’s still time to save our fantastic planet; to make it more than just a memory embodied by Fantastic Planet. Time to be fearless. If one person can do it, we should be able to do it as a whole. Let us step into the frigid air and be ready for what may come.

Justin Spicer is an editor and journalist who writes for Tiny Mix Tapes and Ad Hoc among others. You can find him on Twitter.

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