Stroud electronica band Mr Marko’s Outer Space Emporium release This is a Broadcast, their first extended play recording, on Beat Code records this May, which will be available to download from the beginning of that month. It’s their second release on the label, after the single Great Pretender from 2021.
Mark ‘Marko’ Thompson began creating music back in the mid-90s with an old Amiga computer, a Roland SH-101 and an Akai sampler, playing his own music live occasionally in between playing bass with various bands.
Inspired at first by late-90s Big Beat, in 2014 Marko realised that what he really wanted to do was to fuse his musical, philosophical and metaphysical interests with a fascination with outer space that has driven him since childhood. And so Mr Marko’s Outer Space Emporium was born.
Marko’s been developing the Outer Space Emporium sound in the studio and with occasional live gigs for the past eight years, and the project’s sound has settled into a retro-futurist groove, and into a steady line-up. The Emporium features contributions from Anne Garcin (whose sublime, sugar-coated vocals bring a husky pop delight to three tracks on the This is a Broadcast E.P., as well as on the band’s debut single, Great Pretender) and poet Adam Horovitz (who has been known to have altogether too much fun channelling his inner War of the Worlds-era Richard Burton when working with the band).
The Outer Space Emporium takes as its inspiration everything from Carl Sagan to Barbarella, quantum physics to the utopian optimism of early Star Trek, and Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers. “What we are aiming for,” says Marko, “is quantum physics you can dance to, only in far better clothes than you’d see in a science lab, and with an extra layer of cosmic love and interconnectedness thrown in for good measure.
“The tunes on This is a Broadcast were all written during lockdown, and though the title track encapsulates a sense of coping with isolation and claustrophobia, the E.P. as a whole is about what was missed, and the euphoric imagining of a return to what we had, as a species, taken for granted from before.”
The track listing is as follows: ‘This is a Broadcast’ (featuring Adam Horovitz, with Anne Garcin on backing vocals), ‘Hello World’ (instrumental), ‘The Valley Circus’ (featuring Anne Garcin), and ‘Vox Solar’ (featuring Anne and Adam). Each track offers a glimpse into a different facet of the Outer Space Emporium sound: from the harder sci-fi of the opening track to the uplifting instrumental of Hello World, the party yearning of The Valley Circus to the cosmic optimism and sunny piano of Vox Solar.
The This is a Broadcast E.P. is released on Monday, May 2nd – “just in time for May the Fourth Be With You,” says Marko. It will be available for download from Beatport (https://bit.ly/3IbpQKk) for two weeks exclusively, then available on iTunes, trax source, juno download, a well as Spotify and other streaming sites soon after.