Hello. I’m AsimovLives, a regular contributor to The Supernaughts, and I love Science Fiction.
I also have interests in music as well, namely electronic music, a passion I have had since I can remember. And if music and science fiction combine, I’m in for a double treat. In this post, I’d like to call your attention, dear reader, to the music of Carbon Based Lifeforms.
Carbon Based Lifeforms (also known as CBL) is an electronic music group that hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. CBL is composed of the duo of musicians Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad, whose line-up has remained unchanged since formation in 1996.
Their music is described as ambience. Other definitions also given them are Psybient (Psychedelic Ambience), Downtempo and Chill Out, depending on the albums or tracks.
I simply call it damn good music.
They are currently my new favourite music to listen to, be it for listening at home while chilling out, walking about with the headphones plugged-in or while driving.
CBL was first called to my attention due to their film score for the movie Refuge (2013). It’s a movie set in a post-apocalypse Earth. It depicts the life of a family living in extremely harsh conditions and their everyday life of struggle just to remain alive and a unity. As if things were not harsh enough, they also have to contend with outside threats, gangs of violent rovers called marauders.
From there I looked up other of their works and the first album I truly listened from start to end was World Of Sleepers. Right from the first track I was hooked.
Their discography consists of the albums:
One interesting aspect of this group is they have a music instrument, a bass synthesizer they consider irreplaceable, the Roland Bass Line TB-303. This type of analogue synthesizer is seeing a comeback by musicians who consider their sound “warmer” than the more modern digital counterparts. They might have a point, since electronic music genius Vangelis never went digital. Considering who he is, I’ll give his opinion on the matter much value.
With the exception of the OST Refuge, CBL name their albums and their music tracks after scientific concepts or from science fiction. Some SF movies have been given quite a shout-out, with samples from at least two, films I could identify: Silent Running (1971) and Alien (1979). Any music that references 1970s SF is all right as far I’m concerned. And there are other references to SF, I’m certain. At least one of their track titles is actually called Silent Running.
There is this prevailing opinion that art and music can only come from a place of spirituality, meaning things like mysticism or religious imagery and concepts. The idea of music based on science, the universe or Science Fiction might strike some as “sterile”. On this subject, I can’t help but be reminded of the words of astronomer Prof. Carl Sagan from his book Demon Haunted World: Science As A Candle In The Dark:
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.”
Right. And CBL turns that into music of the spheres. Basically, its just damn good music.
I hope you find this music group and their work. That they came from Sweden makes them cooler in my book.
And just in case you can’t finds their CDs in your local music shop, their albums can be purchased on their official website or listened in their entirely on YouTube.
This is AsimovLives signing off. Have a better one.