When UK post-rockers Sons of Alpha Centauri first touched down on Earth, they initiated their sonic assault not with a full-out album, but with a two-track demo so micro-distributed that it would make Instagram black metal bands jealous: only 13 copies of Demo 2004 were made. They would develop their sound further, unfurling experimental tendrils and fine-tuning their balance of instrumental aggression and starry soundscapes, but it all stems from that initial demo's instrumental rock that fills the imagination without relying on overwhelming density or longevity. Bumping up production by a few orders of magnitude, the demo is being repressed in 7" form, limited to 200 copies—to coincide with its release (order here), we're premiering the demo digitally. Rewind back a good 17 years or so and listen to the demo in full now:

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Like a prototype craft, Demo 2004 feels a little less detailed than later releases, but it has the key ingredients to any Sons of Alpha Centauri release: smart, jagged riffs wind around a central theme with a locked-in bass groove acting as a springboard for layered exploration, sometimes diving into cleaner, spacier portions. When they're in the picture, the fuzzed-out guitars and high bass presence aren't too far off from stoner rock (making the band's later collaboration with Yawning Man, Yawning Sons a logical development), but these songs are built with post-rock's wider scope in mind. They expand on ideas, build tension, and release it, using clean guitars and synthesizer howls just as much as heavier instrumentation. While later iterations of the band brought further developments, this demo holds its own with an exquisitely captured performance straight from the hearts of these spacemen.

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The Demo 2004 reissue can be be picked up through the band's Bandcamp page.