Can This Even Be Called Music?
Jazz and hip hop are two proximate worlds, but it's a rare treat to see them interconnect. Planestasia Suite represents something that we need more of, and Haolin Munk sets a stellar example with this record. A tale of greed, transhumanism, and determination, backed by a genius soundtrack. Review: wp.me/p3mIfa-oeo
We find our hero MAL ASTRO tracking THE BARONESS, the prized Eagle-6 series heirloom spaceship of his former employer, crime-boss and Deputy Comptroller for the Outer Dust Bowl, LEE GREED. Mal spent years flying the Baroness on smuggling runs through the Ion Seas for Greed. The ship was Mal's life, and he flew it like an extension of his own limbs. But when he asked for a bump in his pay after a run through the deadly Sector 11, Lee Greed cut him off and took back his family's ship, leaving Mal devastated. Mal has been tracking the Baroness ever since.
Riding in a solo Skyripper, Mal Astro ambushes the goons Greed has left manning the Baroness and emerges with his beloved ship in tow. The victorious and jubilant Astro flies away not realizing that Greed has put a tracker on board to prevent this exact scenario. When Greed's goons catch up with Mal, embarrassed by their previous defeat and full of jealously for Greed's prodigal favourite, they fire three homing torpedoes. Mal Astro never expected that Greed's goons would risk harming the Baroness, but alas - Mal and the Baroness tumble through the atmosphere towards the nearest planet.
Mal Astro awakens on the surface of the planet in a daze, in critical condition and surrounded the destroyed remains of the Baroness. Sitting in the wreckage of the ship that was his only home, Mal sings a final lament and collapses...
But Mal Astro is not alone on the surface of this mysterious world. The crash landing has awoken the two-headed cosmic spirit NOMIS DOOG. Slowly, as Nomis Doog descend from their space plane to observe the crash site, the ground beneath the Baroness begins to shake. The scattered limbs and parts are raised into the air; a giant sphere of energy grows around Mal. In a flash of light Mal Astro and the Baroness emerge, fused together as one being by Nomis Doog. Thrusters engage, liftoff commences, and Mal Astro/The Baroness takes off.
Mal Astro/The Baroness is docked at a space station, trying to forget all that has happened. He is unable to reconcile his conflicting states of human and spaceship, and is growing increasingly unstable as a result. Instead of embracing the gift of life Nomis Doog has given him, he squanders what time remains in evasive reverie, remembering past mistakes and past loves.
But Mal's reverie is interrupted. The SPACE STATION AI has detected an intrusion; Lee Greed has once again tracked Mal down. Now part machine, Mal is able to hear the AI's call to run, and narrowly escapes before Greed arrives. Now that Mal is fused to the object of Greed's obsession, he realizes that there is no more chance of escape. Mal must confront Lee Greed once and for all.
Mal/The Baroness turns around and heads back to the space station where Lee Greed is waiting. Greed doesn't risk sending his goons, this time he comes out to face Mal Astro alone. Mal and Lee chase each other through the ether. Mal can hear the voice of Nomis Doog calling him from beyond and resolves himself to what he must do. Mal/The Baroness and Lee Greed accelerate through the stars, barreling towards their mutual destruction. The already-unstable ship's warp-core transmission finally gives out, and the Baroness explodes, destroying Greed's ship.
Lee Greed is left floating in deep space, and Mal Astro is never heard from again.
Recorded at Threshold Recording Studio, Fort Rose, HAVN, Gebbz Studio, and Pocket Shrine by Michael Keire, Cohen Wylie, Aaron Hutchinson, Motëm, and Dan Edmonds
Mixed by Aaron Hutchinson
Mastered by Michael Keire
Artwork and Design by Becky Katz
All music written and produced by Haolin Munk
All lyrics written by their respective performers
Haolin Munk gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council