Tabs Out | Various Artists – The Great Krell Machine, Volume One

Various Artists – The Great Krell Machine, Volume One

5.1.19 by Ryan Masteller

I read this book, you guys. At least I think I did. Actually wait – maybe I didn’t, but that cover certainly looks familiar. I’m certainly no stranger to 1960s sci-fi, and the cover of “The Great Krell Machine, Volume One” looks like something I DEFINITELY would have read at some point. I’m just drawn to that look, because you know just what kind of vibe is going to be going on within those pages. It’s comforting and exciting at the same time, and there’s that retrofuturistic nostalgia factor that is simply unignorable. Actually, my interest is piqued – I’m going to start reading this book right now.

What the … This isn’t a book! It’s a cassette tape. Well I’ll be darned … It looks amazing. If it sounds half as good as it looks, we’ll be in really good shape. And what’s this? It’s a Flag Day Recordings compilation? That makes it even BETTER. I don’t know about you, but the raft of quality releases that Flag Day has dropped rivals the output of Isaac Asimov. OK, maybe that’s too far. But we’re in good hands, trust me!

To “The Great Krell Machine”: the tape takes its name from the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet,” which I’ll not delve too deeply into here, because you can look it up. Basically, it is a machine of immense power created by the extinct Krell race discovered by spacecraft crash survivor Dr. Morbius on the titular planet. You can imagine, especially in 1956, its enormity, its vast arrays of light, its analog ambience. It was a time not long before the golden age of Sputniks and space odysseys, when the tactility of control rooms and the blinking lights of consoles and displays captured the imaginations of every human being.

“The Great Krell Machine, Volume One” takes us right back to that time, its nine contributors tapping in fully to the hands-on science of early discovery. They twiddle knobs and flip switches, and it all sounds like someone set up a microphone in a physics laboratory, capturing its ambience. Sure, there are bleeps and bloops, but that’s all part of the immersive experience, getting really deep into the vibe of new scientific frontiers and pristine utopian fantasies. It’s an environment in which I’d like to spend a whole heckuva lot of time.

This cassette came out in an edition of 70 for last year’s Cassette Store Day. Still available!


Francisco Meirino
Geoff Wilt
Benjamin Mauch
Guillermo Pizarro
Walker Farrell
Death Lessons
Todd Barton

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