It was 20 years ago todayish…
Craig Tonkin and I released a doco, The PhanDom Menace, about a Star Wars fan club around the time of the release of the first prequel, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It ended up being distributed on DVD around the world, marking the first time I was paid for being creative, and a major turning point in my career.
One of the contributions to that film which I am most proud of is the soundtrack, which includes a couple of solo tracks of mine under the nom de musique e-Wok, including the theme tune Lost In The Stars. Though that track was hardly solo, as it featured the prodigious voice of my friend Ebony Hack (aka Ebony Blue). Ebony’s powerful performance meshed with the driving synths provides a dazzling cyberhuman backdrop to the opening sequence.
It originally featured a long spaceodelic intro, as used in the film under vox pops, some of which were used as samples on the soundtrack version. But for some reason, until now I’d never made a “single version” – or “radio edit” – which cut to the chase of Eb’s voice.
Well, now I have. It’s now on Spotify. Apple Music and Amazon now, and should be on heaps of other streaming platforms soon if not already. Even TikTok, kids. Apparently. I think it makes quite a cool whatever-genre-electropop-is-these-days single.
And I’ve also put together a clip for it, made up of highlights from the film, including most of the opening sequence. Craig deserves most of the credit for the cool and I reckon quite original visual aesthetic and snappy editing. You can find the full doco over on YouTube along with this clip:
The full version of Lost in the Stars has, for a very long time, been available along with the rest of the soundtrack as MP3s over at The PhanDom Menace website, which maintains its year 2000 design. Frames! For the optimal experience, please set your screen resolution to 640×480.
Click on “the music”, hope that’s still as obvious as it was then. The soundtrack includes contributions from and collaborations with many of my old crew: Mat Blackwell, Martin Evans and Brett Harrington, as well as my personal favourite Plastic Spacemen track, with Marty’s brother James and my brother Marty. (Keep up.) Feel free to make it worth the domain registration fee I’m continuing to pay each year by listening/downloading/etc., as I doubt it’ll all end up on streaming services. (Though my other solo track Droid World will certainly be up soon.)
If you are over Spotify-way, I’ve put a playlist together of my favourite bits of songwriting from Plastic Spacemen and e-Wok, so you can listen to me for over an hour straight. Who knows what might end up there in time.
Speaking of 20 years old, The Glass House apparently turned 20 a few weeks back. Congrats to Wil, Corinne, Dave and the team, with a special shout out to Ian Simmons, the truly lovely head writer who gave a couple of Melbourne reprobates a chance to prove their joke-writing chops.
Mat and I didn’t start working for them until a few years later, interning in 2004 and becoming staff writers in 2005-06. Still, it reminded me of this other little blast from the past, the mashup Mat and I made to mark the 200th episode back in 2006. It later wound up as an Easter Egg on the TGH DVD. But I repost it now as a Birthday Egg. If that’s a thing.