The Music Tapes, the ongoing musical project of Julian Koster, have released a digital EP titled The Orbiting Human Circus in celebration of the successful completion of the first season of their fictional narrative podcast.
The four songs on the feature in or were inspired by Season One of The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air), which is now available for download in its entirety on iTunes or at orbitinghumancircus.com. Part of the Night Vale Presents podcast network, the cast includes Koster (a longtime staple of the Elephant 6 collective of musicians, and a member of Neutral Milk Hotel), Tim Robbins, John Cameron Mitchell, Mandy Patinkin and more, and features creative contributions by longtime Koster collaborators such as Brian Dewan and Jeff Mangum.
Each song on the EP is sung from the perspective of the Janitor at the Eiffel Tower – Koster’s character in the podcast and related live shows – over the course of his surreal adventures. Combining music, storytelling and sound collage, the show exists “outside of time,” in an era simultaneously suggesting the 1930s and the present day. Appropriately, the songs were recorded on a 1940s Presto record lathe, a 1960s tape machine, a 1930s wine recorder, and a computer, combining antique and modern technology.