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The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has been one of mankind’s most enduring quests, it is also one that is not yet complete, or, has resulted in a concrete answer one way or another. The signal that was received by the “Big Ear” telescope on August 15th 1977 - and has since become known as “The Wow Signal” - started an energetic debate that has flourished ever since. The signal was described as coming from the constellation “Sagittarius” and although this region has been re-scanned many times since with various telescopes, the signal has not yet been found again.
With this album release “Toxteth” has tried to give “The Wow Signal” some kind of “personality” albeit a romanticised version born of his own beliefs and the fact that he is a “Sagittarian” and himself prone to firing off arrows in all directions.
There are many influences that have informed and shaped this album, from Steve Cropper (Stax) to Procol Harum, through Jean Michel Jarre via Bob Marley/Culture and Sly and Robbie to Pink Floyd and Daniel Lanois, ending with Ferry Corsten and Armin van Buuren. The Reggae basis comes from the heart and underpins the melodic values prevalent throughout. The interjected speech passages are born of “Binary code” and read by a computer, this gives them an affinity to the code of the signal itself, and, is also an attempt to put a voice to the Wow signal even though it is an imagined personality, it is sufficient to help one believe. The sung/toasted lyrics are obviously human and represent our most human desire to communicate on a personal level.
I would like to thank all those who listened, commented, criticised and complimented while I was making this album, especially Jan Rennesund (lead guitar), Morten Laukvik (rhythmic Rhodes track 1), Shri lal (Indian fiddle), Dougie Doobai (Jamaican toasting), Mark X (sung lyrics) and Felix (additional engineering).
A donation to seti@home will be made from every download of this album or single tracks for the first six months of its life.
Please visit http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/ and join the search.