Chants – Amethyst Dust
April 2016 saw the release of Chants’ The Zookeeper, the Wisconsin-based artist’s Astral Plane Recordings debut and a record full of noisy, outsized club tracks and emotive piano experiments. March 3 marks the return of Chants to the APR fold and Amethyst Dust is everything you would expect from 9 months of hard spent studio time and a series of self-imposed limitations that bore intense and awesome results.
With the four track club record format at its core, Chants’ work is dramatic and tough on Amethyst Dust, beginning with the distorted horns and lights out kicks of “Hellions” and ending with the neck snapping machinegun fire of the title track and EP closer. Meanwhile, “Whole World Crumble” is all lilting synth work and 100 BPM stumble, a gorgeous effacement of traditional dance structures and a lesson in impact.
“Irruption” rounds out the four pack, a paranoiac fit of searing synths, slippery electro-organic noise and more percussive heft. Like most of the music released on APR to date, Amethyst Dust is a record built for club play, but its creator has come to the material from a fundamentally outsider perspective resulting in a final product that is both akin to and unrecognizable from the work of likeminded artists.
Chants – The Zookeeper: Remixed
VA – NEW YR NEW US
Bootlegs, blends, edits and originals from APR family and friends. It’s a new yr.
“NEW YR NEW US is mostly a bit of fun, as these sorts of tracks are usually thrown together for DJ sets. But for anyone with an interest in this scene, the music offers another way to hear DJ-style sonic connections outside of the club.” – Resident Advisor
SHALT – Inertia
In January, we inaugurated Astral Plane Recordings with SHALT’s Acheron, a stunning label debut for one of 2016’s breakout artists. Combining a corporeal intensity with a deft touch for ghost melodies, Acheron is a release that exists entirely on its own plane and on November 25, SHALT returns with Inertia, his second outing on APR and the final release of the year for the label.
Building on the laser-focused intensity of Acheron, Inertia is an expansion in every sense, a larger-than-life slab of harsh electronics, hook-like riffs and knife’s edge sound design. Concepts introduced on Acheron (ecological destruction, the consequences of inaction, stasis vs. velocity) are expounded on at length, embodied in the virulent noise and gut punch sub bass of tracks like “Wavering” and “Inert Indifferent”.
As a club record, Inertia has the ability to dominate space, but it instead exists on the precipice between a quantifiable dancefloor quotient and an intangible world building quality. From the machine chug of “Resistant” to the solipsistic lurch of “Ouroboric”, SHALT’s vision is born out in widescreen clarity and fine-tuned precision on Inertia and all it takes to engage is to listen loud.
LOFT – Turbulent Dynamics
LOFT is the latest artist to join the Astral Plane Recordings family and will debut on October 14 with the enigmatic Turbulent Dynamics EP. With a penchant for rhizomic drum programming, sparkling synth work and hallucinogenic sound design, Turbulent Dynamics is comprised of two totemic floor burners and three interstitial efforts, ranging from cerebral polyrhythmic techno to grotesque new age manipulations. In terms of sound alone LOFT’s entry to the APR catalogue marks something of a departure, but his unwillingness to genuflect to sonic convention means he fits right in with the ethos that SHALT, Chants and Nunu have previously set out.
SHALT – Acheron Remixed
Rising from the ashes of SHALT’s Acheron EP, the first release on Astral Plane Recordings, are four towering remixes from Argentinian NON representative Moro, PAN and Janus star M.E.S.H., Berlin up-and-comer Ziúr and Symbols headliner Kid Smpl. Building on Acheron’s themes of artificial life extension, each producer has spun out their own unique take, ranging from M.E.S.H.’s noisy abstraction to Kid Smpl’s emotive hardcore techno, all while retaining the original’s all-important physicality. To top off the package, SHALT has contributed a VIP of “Hypermalthusian” as a Bandcamp exclusive, twisting the wispy original into a twisted, outsized monstrosity. Throughout SHALT’s work, a certain tactile intensity is present and we couldn’t have found four artists more willing to work through and expand on that sensibility.
Exit Sense – Amor 107.5
Miami’s Exit Sense collides major pop moments from the past few years with a flurry of gabber kicks, broken Caribbean rhythms and recontextualized classical motifs, drawing out a disturbing brilliance from the resulting mash. It’s a space where Young Thug, Rihanna and Future are paired with sonorous violin and enough foley effects to give the full tape a twisted cinematic edge. Amor 107.5 isn’t reminiscent of any radio station you’ve ever heard, but this multitude of conflicting influences is somehow culled together in Exit Sense’s distinctive world.
Nunu – Mind Body Dialogue
Chants – The Zookeeper
SHALT – Acheron
Inspired by Kim Stanley Robsinon’s Mars trilogy, SHALT’s Acheron EP is a record that manages to exist as both brilliant concept piece and fully functional club collection, four tracks of deeply physical music that fit seamlessly in the realm between dance and noise music. Taking on the theme of artificial life extension and the issues (class, physiology, ecology, etc.) that crop up with it, the Lausanne, Switzerland-based producer utilizes blasts of raw noise, unconventional rhythms and flitting, yet beatific, bits of melody to elucidate a world we might not know as well as we’d like to think. Acheron is the first solo release on Astral Plane Recordings and is out January 29.
VA – Psychotropia
Sound as mood altering substance is a well-covered trope in the annals of dance music, but rarely do the genre’s historians look beyond ecstasy when discussing how music effects/affects the mind. Psychotropia is a look at the in-between periods that make up most nights, from the literal come up and come down to countless hours spent in bathroom queues, on public transportation and waiting to fall asleep. Like the states induced by actual psychotropic substances, these instances all seem to coagulate into a singular, semi-lived experience. This compilation, through 10 idiosyncratic takes on modern club music, seeks paint a fittingly blurry picture of this psychotropic environment.
VA – Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 2
VA – Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 1
VA – Heterotopia