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Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released in 1998 'Per Aspera Ad Astra' is a collaboration between Kranky mainstays Stars of the Lid and painter John McCafferty.
Apparently McCafferty contacted them in 1995 with the desire to work with them to some degree, but it was SoTL's Adam Wiltzie who had the idea to create an album which truly blurred the line between the visual and the audio and in doing so ended up working with field recordings he took from McCafferty.
To add to this, the recordings were taken as McCafferty painted the cover to the album itself and while doing so listened to previous Stars of the Lid albums. phew, enough blurring already? Well the result is typically beautiful and maybe more abstract than what you would normally expect from the band as McCafferty's dulled scraping and brushing is painted into Wiltzie and McBride's signature harmonic ambience.
Over six gorgeous tracks the duo merely prove that they can do no wrong, and again create a peerless soundtrack to slowed-down life. Absolutely essential stuff.