As part of my 2010s Retrospectives Series, I’ll be looking back at Mobius Trip & Hadron Kaleido, one of the most influential albums on my teenage self.

Homestuck music is very good. That much isn’t really up for debate in the society in which we live (and we do, indeed, live in a society.)

The best of Homestuck music is also not very much up for debate: by a pretty wide margin, it’s got to be Michael Guy Bowman’s first solo album, Mobius Trip & Hadron Kaleido.

Bowman literally inserted himself into Homestuck canon by making this album, turning himself and Tavia Morra into the titular Mobius Trip, agent of Prospit, and Hadron Kaleido, Agent of Derse. It’s incredibly badass and does a great job fleshing out the extensive “side-canon” of Homestuck.

While every song is just vague and broad enough that nothing EXPLICITLY connects to Homestuck lore, each song is clearly about a different “aspect” of MSPA, turning it into the most meta concept album I’ve ever had the fortune to listen to: “Dawn of Man” is about the human race before Sburb; “Beta Version” is about Sburb itself.;”No Release” is about the chess game of Skaia and the romance of war between its kings and queens; “Fly,” “Lies With the Sea,” and “Pumpkin Tide” are about Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff, Squiddles, and Problem Sleuth, respectively. Chain of Prospit is, well… You can kind of guess.

Bowman’s musical style was still rooted firmly in the synthy, video game-y style of Homestuck music, and he hadn’t yet begun to find the style that he would develop throughout all his non-Homestuck solo albums. And that’s part of what makes it so damn good. It’s synthpop before that term became a meme. It’s filled with references and lore, but stands completely alone. It’s super catchy!

As much as I love all of Bowman’s work, this is the album I come back to the most often, and even if his newer stuff is definitely more advanced, more mature, and depthier, I’m not sure he’ll ever release an album that will grow on me QUITE as much as Mobious Trip and Hadron Kaleido.

One thing I always hated is that this album never got acknowledged in the comic itself. To the best of my memory, EVERY single other album, big or small, was featured in the main comic at some point. Not this one though. It may have been a coincdence, but it was a bad coincidence if so.

I’m definitely not alone in my love, though. Friends (and allies) of mine recently produced an entire fan album dedicated to Bowman’s characters and themes, Moons of Theseus, and it’s some great stuff. You’ve gotta check that out:

One day, far in the future, Michael Guy Bowman will be up on the stage with Scott Stutzman accepting the first joint Academy Award for Best Actor because they played they same role simultaneously in the movie I Am My Own Failed Clone. And I will look up on that stage and clap, knowing that I got to know Bowman through his music, decades before the rest of the world.

Also, I still have the CD he made for me back when he did a Kickstarter:

mobius trip & hadron kaleido

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