Fascinated with the space program, producer Joe Meek made I Hear a New World as a pet project in the late 50’s. Comprised of various aural experiments, the result was ground breaking and would have been at home played on space stereos in the farthest reaches of the universe. I’ve been listening to it for days and it’s as beautiful as it is odd. One song in particular, Valley of No Return, has been teasing me with its familiar strangeness, calling to some other piece of music (I believe from a movie soundtrack) buried deep in my mind – but the identity of the similar tune continues to elude me.
Mostly instrumental, a few songs include human voices but they’re creepy and Chipmunk-like which makes them feel like they come from a David Lynch meets Santa Conquers the Martians universe which, you may surprised to discover, is not such a terrible place to be transported to.
After a little bit of research, I was shocked and saddened to find out that this pioneering master musician (whose accomplishments are even more astounding once you learn that he was tone deaf) succumbed to a very tragic ending: after a decline in popularity and bouts of depression and paranoia, he killed his land-lady then turned the gun on himself. He was 37.