Originally released on CD in 1999, Astral Industries present a first vinyl issue of Monolake’s much-loved ‘Gobi’, licensed from Imbalance Computer Music. Set to the backdrop of the Gobi desert in eastern Asia, two shimmering vistas plunge the listener into a vast and deeply hypnotic nocturnal soundscape. The perennial hiss and rattle of insects float along the fresh night air in soft waves. The desert thrives with quiet activity as a westerly wind skitters across moonlit dunes, granulated folds dancing like sheets of thin silk. Tectonic plates murmur beneath the shower of stars overhead, their millennial cycles whispering of aeons past. Vividly textured and enticingly synthetic in its sound design, Gobi succeeds as a stunning piece of minimalism.
Long-time AI associate Wolfgang Voigt returns to the London label with his newalbum – Rückverzauberung Exhibition. The Exhibition reimagines the concept with renewed purpose, opening the gates to deliver an arresting 60-minute journey into the underworld. Dense soundscapes mutate with alchemic fluidity, unravelling with vast symphonic counterpoints and synesthetic textures. Intoxicating in its Mephistolean dissonances and ambitious sonic structure, the sprawling ”Rückverzauberung” itself becomes a nebulous organism shrouded in the seeping mist of the unknown.
Neel reveals debut collaborative album with Filippo Scorcucchi under their LF58 alias on Astral Industries. Alterazione presents a critical statement – distinguished by its technical execution and breathtaking artistry. The album itself is a cathedral of sound, each cavernous chamber an exploration of space and consciousness. Presented in four movements (one track per side), altogether they extend as a transportive experience of evolution for the listener. Iniziazione – a steady departure that unfurls like the opening of a portal; a process of molecular transfiguration commences. Panoramic landscapes begin to stretch wide, glistening with an exotic beauty, before the shamanic incantations of Rituale draws things deeper. Pulsating rotations push through the next phase of transformation, now drenched in hyperspace white-noise. The procedure continues through the quiet ethereal orbit of Metamorfosi, before finishing with the three-part Evocazione/Contatto/Risveglio; uplifting synth motifs drive forward with optimism, before fading back into the great expanse. Alterazione is both cerebral and meditative, and one cannot help but be pulled at the core by its potency.
Following the death of his one-time Chi Factory partner J. Derwort in February 2019, Hanyo van Oosterom went back to Patmos, the magical island where they once recorded their most famous works, armed with some of the artefacts and hand-built instruments they’d collected together. While there, he made the field recordings and musical sketches that form the backbone of “Travel In Peace”, Oosterorm’s emotional final album as Chi Factory. Poignant, atmospheric, melancholic, dreamy and otherworldly with a genuine sense of time and place (you can almost smell the surrounding flora and fauna), the album’s two lengthy tracks – collages of interlinked sketches and recurring musical motifs – are fittingly fantastic. As curtain calls go, we can think of few better.
Multicast Dynamics returns with a sixth studio album that marks something of a new chapter. Ancient Circuits is an advancement from previous works on Denovali and one that stands the project aside as a powerful electronic act that tells stories while also serving up heavy hitting soundscapes that are persuasive, unexpected and disturbing. Each of the four 25-minute pieces of Ancient Circuits are clearly demarcated yet sequential sci-fi stories that introduce new characters and are drawn out of long and complex studio experiments. They are collages of sound that glimmer, disturb, shine, dive deep and explore new realms and make for ambient so arresting that it pulls you deep inside. Once again here, Multicast Dynamics draws together cinematic sound design and conceptual intergalactic fiction to come up with a work that is a multi-sensory exploration that puts you as the central character in an expressive musical world.
The material collated on this third release from Heavenly Music Corporation was composed specifically for St. Giga in Japan, a satellite broadcast radio station transmitting ethereal audio harmony 24 hours a day. What made this station otherworldly was its programming; motivated by tidal movements, the aquatic ebbs and flows of each day synchronised to the activity and intensity of the music broadcast.
Astral Industries is a creative platform that challenges artists to experiment, collaborate and work outside of their comfort zones. For their first release, Rod Modell (a.k.a. Deepchord) presents ”Lanterns” – an epic journey through an evolving sonic landscape propelled by the churning momentum of reverb-soaked percussion.