Boomkat Product Review:
Strong set of tweaked avant club sounds to round out the Astral Plane Recordings catalog, with exclusive cuts from LOFT (aya), Amazondotcom, Maral, MICHAELBRAILEY x Iceboy Violet, SHALT, CHANTS and more.
Since 2014, Gabe Meier's Astral Plane Recordings has been doing its best to elevate sounds from the most brain-tickling corners of the experimental club landscape, breaking artists like Maral, E.M.M.A. and LOFT, and assembling some of the scene's most enjoyable compilations. The label sprung from Meier's influential blog The Astral Plane, which early on made the link between various regional club sounds and happenings across the world, joining the figurative dots between footwork, ballroom, kuduro, grime and dembow experimentation. To commemorate the label and celebrate its run, Meier has put together a final compilation, bringing back some of Astral Plane's most recognizable names, for a lap of honor.
CHANTS starts things off, with another music box banger following 2019's sorely underrated "Seven Spheres" album. Plucked percussive chimes develop cyclicly over faint hard dance rumbles that never erupt into the beat you expect, saving the momentum for a build into almost nothing that's as frustrating as it is refined. Maral's 'lita' assembles a molasses slow beat beneath the kind of blown-out harmony that Grouper perfected on her early LPs, while aya impresses as usual with 'an safe heavenn', another LOFT-y gooper that shivers over all-too-brainy 4/4 wallops and hi-gloss FM sfx. Amazondotcom's 'Pico Blvd' follows her killer EP run with more delirious downtempo sci-fi synthscaping, and Nunu loses the beat altogether on the fractal 'ransom'.
MICHAELBRAILEY and Iceboy Violet gift us with the cherry on top here though, with 'dead space', a glitchy and unrestrained nu-soul belter that'd bring tears to our eyes if we had any feelings left. It's like James Blake if he was actually any good - more plz.