I remember learning about apogee and perigee in my ICPE class in 9th grade. ICPE (Intro to Chemistry, Physics, and the Environment) was the easy class aimed at non-science-inclined kids, and it was cancelled the year after I took it. I guess it taught me something, though, because when I came across the track “Apogee/Perigee” by the Richmond, VA band Energy 2000, I remembered that these words related to the moon’s longest and shortest distance from the earth during its elliptical orbit. (I didn’t remember specifically that apogee is the furthest point and perigee the closest, so maybe ICPE wasn’t that helpful.) As you can guess from the song title, the members of Energy 2000 are space dudes/dudettes (you can’t tell because they’re wearing homemade space suits in their Bandcamp profile picture.) The album on which this track can be found, the newly released Afterburn, is a series of expansive, guitar-centric instrumentals featuring a grainy mix of radio chatter and broadcast news from an early space flight. I don’t usually like instrumentals with extended guitar solos because they can come off as self-indulgent, but this song and album are an exception to that self-imposed rule. The guitar work emphasizes mood and melody over technical wizardry, giving it a greater sense of purpose. There are also boatloads of sustain, reverb, and other effects, which are always a soft spot for me. Together, the combination of the searching, cosmic instrumental and vintage space talk creates a sense of wonder that’s got me thinking about the vastness and mystery of the universe at a much too early hour.
Listen to more Energy 2000: https://energy2000.bandcamp.com/