NASA should get a shuttle together, bundle in Noveller’s Sarah Lipstate, Trent Reznor and the lads from Explosions In The Sky, and send them off to terraform planets. Lipstate is a one-woman atmosphere-creating force. Her latest release Fantastic Planet is not so much a collection of songs as a collection of landscapes; shimmering synth-laden vistas, alien outcrops and sprawling structures.
There is a tangible sense of discovery to each track as intros unfold and familiar tessellations layer upon one another to create rich textures. ‘Rubicon’ and ‘Growing’ have the heat and abrasiveness of a Vangelis score while ‘No Holy Mountain’ and ‘Pulse Point’ exercise subtlety, giving the often-prominent synth a mysterious, foggy edge. These are creative and shifting soundscapes; more kinetic than drone, more vibrant than ambient, Fantastic Planet shares more in common with the dynamism of post rock and progressive. Regardless of categorisation, Noveller’s latest output is an experience waiting to reward the dedicated listener willing to explore these worlds.