The longer you spend with the music of Ben Pagano & The Space Machine, the more impossible it becomes to define. The Brooklyn-based art pop project clambers around genres with an artisan’s ease, eclectic yet handily refined all at once.
Today they unveil their latest long-play, a collection called Forms. At six tracks long, it’s a record which could easily represent the work of six separate musicians, a testament to the artistic vision with which Pagano approached the LP.
Explore the full breadth of genre, artistry and human emotion on Forms, the new LP from Ben Pagano & The Space Machine.
Based in New York since 2006, Pagano is a graduated student of method acting as well as a practising musician, both of which feed into his sonic output.
Forms fuses a method actor’s meticulous study of human behaviour with a musician’s means of creative expressionism, conceptually focusing on forms of being and the spectrum of our emotions.
Considering this, it’s hardly a surprise that the main musical thread of this LP, if there is one, is that of experimentation. Each of the six tracks proliferate a new aspect of Pagano’s sound, whether it be the light and shade highlighted in title track Forms or the Broadway-ready vocal brevity of Frozen Hearts.
Throughout the record Ben Pagano & The Space machine flirt with anything from jazz to showtunes, classic to DIY rock, psychedelic fuzz to art pop. Their willingness to break moulds and the confidence with which they do so is admirable, and without this bravado such a project would almost definitely fall short.
That being said, there is a cohesiveness to this record, undoubtedly. It’s impossible to paint in such black and white terms, but a slow descent from the madness of opener Forms into the softer conclusiveness of Farewell ties the release together wonderfully.
A gradual inclusion of more and more grand piano compliments this thread, providing a sonic backdrop to Pagano’s emotive freefall.
Forms was assuredly an involving record to craft, given the personal weight Ben Pagano & The Space Machine have thrown into it. Experimentation is a double-edged sword in music and albums favouring the conceptual can make or break an act.
Thankfully, Pagano’s full-bodied dedication to his spellbinding creative output hit the mark. Forms will surely lay the groundwork for many releases to come.
Ben Pagano & The Space Machine will celebrate the album’s release on April 23rd at Mercury Lounge in NYC.