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Antarctica majestically captures the epic sweep of the south side of consciousness, conjuring the otherworldly experience of deep sleep. The band is perfectly named: they create brooding, constantly shifting textures with reverbed guitars, synthesizers, and muffled vocals that evoke images of glacial oceans, endless expanses of white snow, and blue skies without limits. This gorgeous band has discovered an impossible niche between joy and melancholy and extracted from it an insomniac's perfect remedy.

The five members of Antarctica converged in New York City after singer/guitarist Eric Richter left his old band, Christie Front Drive. In 1998, the quintet released its debut, a three-song EP named after its length, 21:03, which features the gentle, ethereal "Full Crescent Crusade." Two years later they returned with 81:03, a double album that does indeed feature 81 minutes and three seconds of slow, oceanic bliss. That record includes the '80s dance pop-influenced "Absence." Sadly, 81:03 would prove the last of Antarctica's short career, as its members announced in 2000 that they would be going their separate ways.

Antarctica descends from a long and worthy line of pioneers of cool, shimmering noise. In their celestial sound, you'll hear the reverberating echoes of Pink Floyd's astral epics, Joy Division and New Order's synthesized sadness, Slowdive and Ride's shoegazer intensity, and the shimmering bliss of My Bloody Valentine Loveless. In short, Antarctica continues to develop the craft of atmospheric pop, creating worlds of music you've only dreamed of.