Boomkat Product Review:
Intense, techno-slanted psychedelic investigations from Neil Campbell - mainly brand new compositions, plus new versions of tracks from the uber-limited Ach/Och take and Striate Cortex compilation. Campbell has been experimenting with 4/4 "dance" tropes since 2009's Octuplex, perhaps even further back, anticipating the distended rhythm-scapes of Diamond Catalog, Decimus, Container et al today; 'Rubber Lagg', which opens Magic Smile, is perhaps his most "out" recording in this vein to date, its kickdrum thump and scuzzed bassline very prominent, at least until overwhelmed by a blizzard of distorted drones and mutant moans. It's a similar story with 'FRKWYKZ RMRK', which sounds like Black Dice and mid-90s Regis struggling to be heard over a Vibracathedral Orch jam (in a good way). The dreamy, drifting synthesiser arpeggios of 'Mach' have an Oneohtrix flavour, but there's something irreducibly British to Campbell's jerry-built, asteroid-damaged space vessel, a quality which comes even further to the fore on 'Och' and 'Multiple World Speed', which sound like acid techno turned inside out, while his vocals on the album's title track situate his chaotic cosmic adventurings in a folk continuum of sorts. If you've been following Astral Social Club's work over the past few years, then you'll pretty much immediately recognise this record as one of their masterpieces; and for newcomers to the project, we can think of no better place to start.