This is the first all electronic based song to make it to the stage for SONG OF THE WEEK! So crash your keytars and Game Boys together for Salt Lake City’s own, Ok Ikumi. Roughly two years and some months ago, I saw this one man outfit (Karl Jorgensen) kneeling on the unholy floor of the Monster House basement (Columbus OH) piloting a three sided square of linked keyboards, samplers and various objects with blinking lights. His electro-pop leanings had me stuck in my spot for the whole set. The ambiance found in some songs was almost hypnotizing. I have been a fan since. His bandcamp page boasts seven self-released albums, all with art that would benefit a collection if left facing outward.
The track Home From Space comes from the 2011 release IV/XI. The album sites the Lone Peak Wilderness Area in Utah & Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series as it’s source of inspiration. I ran the risk of becoming visibly emotional in a work environment when I first heard this track on my iPod. I imagined coming home from space… You enter the Earth’s atmosphere and the whole human you returns and fills the air in your space suit. All of Earth comes to you at once. The plants, the animals, people you love; people you don’t like who make you laugh now that you’ve been to space, your cat. You breathe it in. You’ve never known the planet you were born on like this. The continents crumpled like green gold foil on a candy, peeling off to reveal glorious blues and clouds, oh yes clouds; that dragon breath that stays and floats the entire day here! Remember birds? I will hear them clearer and sweeter for the rest of my life now.
There are just a few chords in the song, carefully arranged. It’s the pace of them that brings me close to the sad happy feeling that one may feel returning home from an other-worldly adventure. Each chord crescendos over an atmospheric glowing layer of wonder and yes, bird sounds. A beat enters towards the end of the song, followed by a repetitive sequence of sounds that make me think of traffic; a bear catching a fish; a man waking up on his birthday and brushing his teeth; all the things of Earth connecting and making the rhythm of life together. You are home.