On Our Radar: Theremin Man’s “Sagittarius A-Star” sends a much-needed message of love

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      As a message to the world—and maybe the universe—goes, it couldn’t be more welcome at this most messed-up point in history. Enough with the warring, hating, and fighting those who see things from a different perspective than yours. Instead, consider this note to humanity from Theremin Man’s new “Sagittarius A-Star”: “Beaming light all across the galaxy/Sending love all across the frequency/Everybody come and feel the energy.”

      The first single from the upcoming sophomore album Songs for the Future, “Sagittarius A-Star” finds Vancouver scene vet Stephen Hamm continuing to winningly reinventing himself with the instrument he first took up just over a decade ago. Often the theremin is seen as something to break out at Halloween, or while paying tribute to the films of Ed Wood. In the hands of the former Slow bassist, it’s the trippy centrepiece of songs which swing from psychedelic prog to space-cowboy pop.

      For “Sagittarius A-Star” the vibe is hard-rock meets throwback synth-pop on the sonic side of things, Hamm commanding the mic like a man channelling Lemmy Kilmister, Tesco Vee, and the Osmonds as rendered on “Crazy Horses”. Added props go to the metronome-steady drums of Shawn Mrazek.

      Visually, director R.d. Cane once again proves himself a master of doing a lot with a little. Ground zero for the performance part of “Sagittarius A-Star” would seem to be the tunnel that leads to the pool at New Brighton Park. Cane creates a colour-blown world that’s more like being on mushrooms at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.

      Hamm describes "Sagittarius A-Star” as “an invitation to a fantasy escape, shrugging off convention and letting our minds wander into a deep space fantasy. The question this video asks is what happens when you enter a black hole? Physical objects are crushed, dimensions and time stretch and warp. In a hallucinatory daze you find yourself in a tunnel with strange beings.

      Dark as things are now, look into the light. Someone’s still sending a message of love.