Human Music is Basement Surfers’ “surrealist cosmo drama for humans” — something perfectly fitting for the high-tech closed-off age we live in. The album constantly reminds us of our humanity by referencing the presence of extraterrestrials. You can feel it on the transmission-like effected sound bits that open and close the album, and in the lyrics that frequently deal with themes of alienation (quite literally on “Beyond”).
As a whole, Human Music is something of a tragedy. There is guilt and heartbreak present on each track, but particularly on the breakup fuelled “Lovely Celebration” and the grungy “Fine Art to be Appreciated From a Toadstool“. Adept, sometimes surfy, guitar playing gives the tracks an edge while the many layers of effected instrumentation send us up to the cosmic setting.
Basement Surfers are a collective with a sense of humour that pops up occasionally on Human Music. Take “Friend Vicodin”, a song that is essentially an ode to being high, and uses comparatively low-key instrumentation to become one of the more danceable songs on the record. “Cosmo Plunderer” is an album highlight and playfully uses jazz and vocal effects to tie it to the sounds of Earth.
When we come away from this album, we are left feeling as though we intercepted a transmission that details humanity rather than extraterrestrial matter — a transmission not necessarily meant for our ears, but relevant and touching all the same.