Wednesday, August 12, 2009

REVIEW: Astral Social Club - Octuplex

6.75 out of 10

"Octuplex" is Neil Campbell's (Vibracathedral Orchestra) third release under the moniker Astral Social Club. The general idea is "sometimes loud/sometimes harsh/sometimes bizarre" sounding electronics mish-mashed, looped, and mixed together with drone, minimal ambience and other "white noises". ASC creates relaxing (sometimes) "music" that will either have you bobbing your head, scratching your head, or giving you a headache. Sort of a free-formed Jazz concept with modern electronics dabbling in drones, Astral Social Club is not for all this is certain.

Astral Social Club is for people fascinated by experimental electronics. Here's what one reviewer online had to say about ASC "There’s no theme to tie one end of a piece to another, no rhythmic grid to rest on, no climax because it is all climax; only an enormous, shimmering expanse of pitches, textures and pulses stretches out before you.." I'm quoting another reviewer because I honestly couldn't have said it any better. ASC is blissful/interesting noise that's so "anti-music" it's music.

I like this album, it's not the best album ever, but it certainly is unique. You will have to "be in the mood", but do enjoy it (I think it deserves some appreciation). I'm pretty sure the way to experience Astral Social Club is live. Having all of Mr. Campbell's sounds come out of multi-instruments/loud speakers and bouncing off the walls over and over again would be quite nice.. For fans of early Dan Deacon, Terry Riley, Raster-Noton media, "droney" Shoegaze effects, experimental music in general.

Standout Tracks: Caustic Roe, Pilgrim Sunburst, Sweet Spraint (good guitar fx), Hot Toxer

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