King Space Man – Return Of The Ghost (ASTR034)

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King Space Man, also known as Space Ghost, is back from the lab with a monstrous mixtape featuring raw, sample-heavy instrumentals and his debut as an emcee.

Return Of The Ghost’s Hazy boom-bap productions hang in the air like billows of smoke, peppered with brooding raps from the mind of a low-key supervillain. That supervillain is Sudi Wachspress, based in Oakland.

Pulsating and dreamlike, ROTG’s 26-track showcase seamlessly weaves in and out of realities, creating a patchwork narrative of circumspect hope and artistic struggle that manages to never take itself too seriously. There are swelling, cathartic synthscapes reminiscent of 2015’s Swim and wild syncopations built on the cracking kick-snare rhythms of 2012’s You’re There (Wachspress’ first effort for Astro Nautico).

Nevertheless, the evolution into King Space Man reflects a different creative mindset. By indulging his infatuation with simple rap instrumentals based around timeless samples, Wachspress channels the great loop diggers of recent decades, taking a leap towards sample-based beats and revealing emcee tactics. The new alias–and persona along with it–were only necessary as an homage to the greatest rap supervillains of the West Coast.

The Ghost returns. The King is born. Welcome to Space.