Review: Finding Jupiter’s ‘East of Orion’

Feb. 11, 2011, 12:37 a.m.
Review: Finding Jupiter's 'East of Orion'
Courtesy of Wyatt Roy

A mere five months after the launch of their debut album, Finding Jupiter returns with a big bang. Their 15-track remix album, “East of Orion,” does “astro-not” disappoint.

No more Jetsons-esque puns, I promise. Just had to get them out of my (solar) system.

Finding Jupiter, a Stanford punk rock band, employed the talents of East Coast DJs Maximalism and Danoteck to remix the band’s debut album, “Racing Against the Sun.” Guitarist and vocalist Sarah Masimore ’11 describes the new tunes as “avant garde … push[ing] some artistic boundaries by taking rock to a place it rarely goes.”

Indeed, their recent release is 56 minutes of experiments in sound. Each track floats across several genres, with dubstep meeting punk rock and acoustic guitar mingling with 80s-esque synthesizers. The result is a strong remix album that rivals the original, a rare dynamic.

The album starts strong with “Raze the City (Seriously Mix),” an excellent blend of fast-paced drums and spacey guitar effects. Masimore’s vocals are absolutely heavenly when given a touch of reverb, a trend that continues throughout the next 14 tracks.

Given the current dominance of dubstep, it’s no surprise to find “Swing (Dubby Mix)” on this album. While not as dirty as the beats heard at many an EBF Happy Hour, this dubstep remix is a success. Finding Jupiter’s punk rock vibe is surprisingly compatible with the super-slow reggae sound of this track.

Another stellar track is “Seamless (No Seams Mix),” a sexy, slow tune that puts Thievery Corporation to shame. Spacey synths, sultry vocals and a smooth and steady drumbeat make this song a highlight of the listening experience. Granted, I’ve never left the Earth’s atmosphere, but I imagine it feels something like the sound of this song.

This album is awesome. It’s reminiscent of an hour-long party at a co-op on Jupiter, with a few groovy aliens spinning tracks. Maximalism and Danoteck successfully capture the extraterrestrial aesthetic while managing to retain the most compelling elements of the original tracks. It’s not often that a DJ can honor the assets of remixed tunes, but the glory of Finding Jupiter’s funky punk rock shines through. If you’re a fan of punk rock, techno and outer space, then “East of Orion” is for you.

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