N.A.S.A., an ongoing creative collaboration between two lifelong music aficionados (Squeak E. Clean & DJ Zegon) and their friends, friends of friends and musical heroes, are set to release their highly-anticipated worldwide debut The Spirit of Apollo, while also gearing up for an live tour of the US and Canada. While N.A.S.A. stands for North America/South America and contains a number of superstar artists from both coasts of the US, it is about as far from a tension-building geographical showdown as a record can get. Rather, The Spirit of Apollo was born with the righteous goal of bringing people together through music and art, and that is exactly what masterminds Squeak E, Clean and DJ Zegon have done.
Unexpected collaborations abound on the eighteen-track release. Tom Waits growls over Kool Keith, Karen O taunts while Ol' Dirty Bastard gives shout-outs to Wu Tang and N.A.S.A. from the grave, and David Byrne, Chuck D and others expound on the evils of "Money." In spite of the range of performers, the pairings seem organic, inspired and make perfect sense on the first listen, never coming off as ironic or impulsive. Spiegel explains that the tracks themselves dictated who would be approached to lend a voice, revealing the larger vision behind the project: "we never said, 'let's make a track for this person.' We'd usually make something we liked, and then as we were starting to write the song, it would tend to go in a direction that we'd be like, 'this sounds like George Clinton,' or 'this sounds like Method Man.' We would start to feel the song out, and feel the artist through the song as we did it. Basically, we'd sit around as we were making these tracks and say the nuttiest combination of names, like our dream of who we could get on the song. It's crazy, a lot of times they actually happened."