Luboku takes us through his debut album ‘Space Walk’
Beginning his career in 2014, rising electronic artist Luboku is creating sounds that are wildly transcendent, immersing you in another space, an alternate dimension, and a different time. Based in Melbourne, this solo project quickly turned heads in 2017 with the release of his debut solo single ‘The Surface’, which showcased his knack for effortlessly weaving hypnotic sounds, futuristic tones and electronically driven melodies. Returning to 2018 with uplifting electronic soundscapes in his single ‘Without You’, recognition for the track propelled his career to new heights. From opening for Aussie producer Willaris. K, and joining electronic heavyweight What So Not on his Australian tour, this producer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter started to see his hard work finally pay off. With a string of singles and a debut EP that followed, Luboku continued to secure his place in the industry, touring Australia as the main support for Petit Biscuit, BAYNK, Leisure, and Kilter. Now, he makes his biggest step up yet in 2020 with his debut concept album Space Walk, that will certainly cement Luboku as a master of sound.
Using the idea of space travel as a parallel to the human experience, Space Walk sets in motion an other-worldly journey that will leave a lasting impact on you long after its finished. Capturing the essence of human fragility and its demise at our own hands, chaos begins to set in motion as ‘Pale Blue Dot’ and ‘Pale Blue Dot, Pt. 2’ reflect a state of dystopia. From jarring synths, harsh electronic beats, and hypnotic bass, we’re finally ready to take flight. From the final countdown in ‘T-Minus’ to the atmospheric embrace of ‘Lift Off’, we finally look back to the world in ‘Apollo’ feeling excited for what’s to come. Melancholic and almost trance-like, the music paints a vivid image of the unknown that is yet to be fully discovered. ‘Circles’ marks a climax in the album as the journey becomes overwhelming with downtempo synths, moody sounds, and delicate vocals. ‘Let You’ and ‘Two Hands’ helps us finally find the courage we need to move on from our past worries, through soaring electronic sounds that raise the mood of the album. As Space Walk concludes with warm guitars and angelic vocals in ‘Completely’, the journey finally ends in ‘Solar Flare’ as gentle keys and Luboku’s signature futuristic production take hold. Sonically this ambitious body of work showcases the most thematic and creative work to come from this artist, creating not only a mood but a brooding sentiment inside all listeners as we travel alongside him through space. As effervescent synths, waves of pristine electronic textures, and transportive melodies encapsulate this album, it’s clear the journey is not yet over for this forward-thinking and enigmatic music maker.
Purple Sneakers had the unique opportunity to talk to Luboku himself who takes us through of each song in his Space Walk debut album. Read on to discover more about his new release and the intricate meaning behind each of his songs.
Pale Blue Dot
‘Pale Blue Dot’ opens the album. It sets the stage for what is to come, sonically and thematically. Taking inspiration from the astronomer and physicist Carl Sagen, Pale Blue Dot is a reflection on humanity’s fragility in the vastness of our known universe. A comment on how our actions individually and collectively dictate our future prosperity, or demise.
Pale Blue Dot, pt. 2
‘Pale Blue Dot, pt. 2’ is a continuation of this narrative, yet the sonic canvas has been tilted toward dystopia. For me, the harsh tones and jarring synths represent our worst future coming to pass, whether that be a nuclear apocalypse, a climate catastrophe or as we have experienced, a global pandemic. It serves as a reminder that under the surface of civility, chaos reigns.
‘T-Minus’ is a keystone moment for the album. The muffled audio recounts the very moment when the Apollo 11 shuttle was propelled into space. This is the beginning of Space Walk – just before that moment of take off.
‘Lift Off’ is one of those songs that took shape over many hours in the studio. There were so many ideas I wanted to pack into this one track. It’s about that first moment in space – those emotions that you might experience as vertigo and anticipation kick in.
‘Apollo’ is about that moment of wonder. Looking back on the earth as you float through space. Feeling lightness and exhilaration at the beginning of a great journey. A moment of mediation in the vastness of space.
‘Circles’ marks a turning point in the Space Walk journey. It’s about feeling stuck in motion, unable to work out whether to move forward or back. I wrote this track during the isolation of Melbourne’s first lockdown – I reflected on how that experience of being alone might feel for someone embarking on a journey through space, where you have to isolate yourself from your surroundings in order to survive. It’s that moment where you first see a crack in the glass, a fault line that was once imperceptible.
‘Let You’ aims to dispel indecision and carve a path towards acceptance. I wrote ‘Let You’ about leaving those things behind which are holding you back, it represents a moment of clarity in the depths of space.
‘Two Hands’ is about who we choose to be and what we do as individuals. We can use our talents for the best means, but equally sometimes we let the worst parts of ourselves override this. ‘Two Hands’ is about consciously choosing the high road – and backing yourself in the process.
In the narrative of Space Walk, ‘Two Hands’ is about recognising that we have power to do great, and also power to do great evils. It’s our responsibility to hold that mantle and also hold ourselves to account in the process.
‘Completely’ is the final moment of ‘human’ narrative on the record. I always imagine this song as a last vestige of humanity, floating through space on an old AM radio. As a song, ‘Completely’ is about how our modern world lacks a simplicity that often brings a profound sense of peace – like the joy of simply sitting by a fire at night, or just swimming in the ocean, getting lost in the little things.
‘Solar Flare’ marks the end of the Space Walk journey. For me, it represents that above all, nature continues on in all its glory, regardless of whether humans will be there to witness it or not.
Space Walk by Luboku is out now
Introduction by CLAUDIA FALLON