Robert Walter Shares ‘Spacesuit’ Inspirations Spotify Playlist

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The final touches are being put on the new Robert Walter’s 20th Congress studio album entitled Spacesuit. A Kickstarter campaign supporting the project is currently underway for the follow-up to the band’s 2013 LP Get Thy Bearings. To get a sense of what’s on the new record, the band’s namesake leader, keyboardist Robert Walter, shared a Spotify Playlist of songs that inspired Spacesuit.

Walter, whose many projects include performing with Mike Gordon’s band and the Greyboy Allstars, was joined by guitarist Chris Alford, bassist Victor Little and drummer Simon Lott during the recording sessions that yielded the nine-tracks on the new album. Here’s how Robert describes the process and his inspirations:

Spacesuit was composed in the spirit of group improvisations that happen during our live shows. The current version of 20th Congress (Simon Lott on drums, Chris Alford on guitar, Victor Little on bass) has an immediacy and explosive chemistry.

The material stretches beyond its usual structure and we wanted to capture that in the studio. Most of my music in the past has been heavily influenced by classic jazz and funk. While still retaining that tradition as a springboard we started to move into a place that was less reverent to conventions of genre. By combining a wider set of influences, both musical and visual, the songs on Spacesuit are meant to reflect and encourage our recent explorations.

As the band was pushing into exciting and uncharted areas, I had been rediscovering nerdy fascinations of my youth. While growing up in the 80’s my imagination was captured both by records of all kinds and the fantastic worlds portrayed in Science Fiction films and underground comic books.

I tried to recapture those early feelings of imagination and wonder. My inspirations for this recording are early fusion, krautrock, dub reggae, the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Stanley Kubrick, and the images of Chris Foss, Moebius and H.R. Giger.

The Spotify Playlist of Spacesuit influences represents the fusion, krautrock, dub reggae referenced above. There’s the exploratory fusion of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, the pulsating krautrock of Can, NEU! and Kraftwerk, dub reggae sounds of The Scientist, King Tubby, The Revolutionaries and others. There are also selections from David Bowie, Cymande, Brian Eno & David Byrne, Dr. John, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Liquid Liquid, Suicide and several more.

Stream the playlist below: