Homemade Spaceship Releases Debut LP Ahead of Album-Release Party | Westword

Homemade Spaceship Releases Debut LP Ahead of Album-Release Party

Ghost Ride the Spaceship explores the galaxies in a feat of electronic world-building.
Homemade Spaceship's debut LP Ghost Ride the Spaceship is based on an original story by the Denver-based songwriter
Homemade Spaceship's debut LP Ghost Ride the Spaceship is based on an original story by the Denver-based songwriter Homemade Spaceship
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Move over, Elon, and get out of the way, Bezos: A Denver EDM artist is forging his own escape to the cosmos.

On his debut album, Ghost Ride the Spaceship, Denver-based musician Rob Levere, who performs as Homemade Spaceship, delivers hard-hitting bass with extraterrestrial influence. The cosmic musings coloring his artistry are predominantly metaphorical, acting as a parameter to work within and an imaginative escape to expand upon.

“I feel like everyone has a homemade spaceship," Levere says, "whether it's hiking, biking, crocheting, painting, ceramics. Even if it's taking your dog for a walk, it's what you've built yourself to escape the gravity of the world.”

At the same time, the adventurous qualities of Homemade Spaceship’s production are honed by self-imposed restrictions. But even those restrictions are adventurous, such as on the song “Pockets,” which he and producer VibeSquaD created with sounds sampled from the trinkets found in their pants. For Ghost Ride the Spaceship, Levere took inspiration from the lore-filled universes of Japanese RPGs, Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons, and set out to write a sci-fi story.

“A big fuel for my musical project is a childlike imagination. I just remember being able to take whatever I had around me and use it to entertain myself or create some sort of narrative or storyline,” Levere says. “There's really no excuses. There's always creative potential within fifteen feet of you if you look hard enough.”

Ghost Ride the Spaceship follows the story of a “wannabe spaceman desperate to leave Earth,” explains Levere. Each song captures a plot point as the main character builds his own spaceship, departs Earth and meets up with an extraterrestrial carouser. In “Astro Jones,” the suave, party-going alien of the same name is introduced by an anxious flute sample, scatting overtones and warbling bass hits for a club banger that sets the adventure in motion.

The most recent single from the album, “Gassed Up,” narrates light-speed turbulence as the two make their way recklessly through the celestial landscape. A percussive build and a bass drop that could have been shot from a Stormtrooper's blaster quickly overshadow the pretty chimes at the beginning of the track.

The characters lose control during the interlude “Spaceblaster,” tumbling into a wormhole and another part of space far, far away. They meander through the new galaxy in the latter half of the album until “Voyager,” the last track. During the twelve-minute jam, the “wannabe spaceman” and his alien companion intentionally go through another wormhole, opening the next chapter of world-building that Levere wishes to pursue.

Levere has planned a series of EPs called The Wormholes that are meant to represent different planets that his characters find along their journey, each one expanding upon the lore with different subgenres of EDM. One EP that he is planning to call Infinity Hotel will lean toward a progressive, unique style, while another will be based on soul, indicative of Levere’s hip-hop influences. He is planning for the third to capture a “dark purple metropolitan planet” with laid-back, ethereal tracks.

The release of Ghost Ride The Spaceship, on Thursday, August 17, will be accompanied by a drop party at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom on Saturday, August 19. In preparation, Levere has been developing his remixes — chopping songs from artists such as Tyler, the Creator, Led Zeppelin, Cardi B and Queen, which can be found on SoundCloud — working on his live deejaying or practicing flute, a new addition to his repertoire. Applied as the lead voice of Astro Jones on the album, he was inspired to learn the instrument by the bombastic hip-hop production of such influences as RZA of Wu-Tang Clan and DJ Premier, and he plans to showcase his sound with live improvisation during the upcoming set.

Following the concert at Cervantes', Levere is planning on an autumn tour to support the album, with dates to come. For now, Homemade Spaceship is holed up at home getting to work on his upcoming EP series, which he plans to follow with another full-length.

Born and raised in Chicago, Levere moved to Denver after his collegiate years at Columbia College Chicago. He used his adolescent knack for instrumentalism to learn the ropes of production in Ableton, which he had plenty of time to perfect during a year spent in Durango. Once Levere soured on the seclusion of Durango, he hopped in his car — not unlike the “wannabe spaceman” of the album — and made tracks to Denver in 2017, where EDM was flourishing with the help of internationally acclaimed artists like Griz, CloZee and Illenium.

“After [moving], I was in love with the Denver scene — how open it was, how diverse the music was, how nice everyone was, especially compared to the Chicago scene," Levere says. "I fell in love, and that’s when I really started to pursue music.”

Homemade Spaceship, 8:00 p.m., Saturday, August 19, Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street. Tickets are $20. Ghost Ride the Spaceship is out on all streaming platforms Thursday, August 17.
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