Saturday, September 17, 2011

Astral Social Club/Tomutontuu

Astral Social Club - Wet Wheel/Hot Wheel
Tomutonttu - Syvät Sävyt
Tipped Bowler 12”. TB012

Astral Social Club - Snaefell/Mocne
Trensmat 7”. TR021

Astral Social Club - Scudding [For Electronics and Air July 2011]
No label CDR.

I have it on good authority from the Nodmeister himself that all of the above releases are singles. No problems there until you realise that Scudding runs to almost an hour in length. This is dangerous Orb territory. I’m happy to give up the argument before its started though, if Campbell says its a single then a single it is. For those with a three minute attention span though Scudding will be hard work. Taken as one elongated piece of work it sounds a little like the Campbell issue running amok in the Klang Klang studio whilst proud parents look on, arms folded smiling appreciatively. You can hear them throughout most of Scudding, playing, pulling Sellotape off its spools, making a mess and poking each other in the eye, all the things kids get up to. Over it all Campbell plays a broken beat that morphs into different guises, gets covered in various pops, whirrs and squeals before flourishing into an ecstatic dance orgasm at around the 40-odd minute mark. Its probably the most experimental thing I’ve heard from ASC and single or no single its up there with the best ASC work.

The Tipped Bowler release finds us in is more familiar ASC territory. A longer Wet Wheels becomes a sped up Mother Mallard synth fest where the pulse slowly builds into orgasmic glow stick waving proportions until it cuts straight into Hot Wheels and a short jam before the taxi arrives. A major ASC nod anthem for sure. Just make sure you play it at 45.

Syvät Sävyt sounds like David Lynch dance music. Someone went into the toy instrument department of Hambleys and set everything going at once, played it all backwards, forwards and sideways and gave it to Tipped Bowler. Sort of. By linking together what could be sections of sped up backwards and forwards loops of stuck grooves Tomutonttu has created something in very much the same vein as ASC only with an end result that sounds like the glueing together of much studio floor tape waste. And I mean that in the most sincerest way folks. Over all this forward and reverse madness are stuck quirky melodies played on bits of broken Casios. I could of course be totally mistaken. Fingers are applied to records on turntables with no belts and spun to insane speeds. Somehow it forms a whole that is danceable but only to those with the correct amount of drugs in them. Insane and totally refreshing.

For those of you not in the know Snaefell is the highest mountain on the Isle of Man. You can hear the sheep up there and on Mocne, you can also hear Campbell getting his wind back after getting to the top of its 2000 meters. Snaefell is shiny yellow sun bursts and starlike explosions, psychedelic techno, beats morphed into mangled head swim. Its also got a maddening keyboard run that’ll have you nodding before the first spins taken effect. Mocne is even more urgent. Play it in your car and impress the hoodies in your neighborhood, play it at you next Tupperware party, buy some whizz and dance around the garden in the middle of the afternoon. ASC can have this effect on you.

As ever trying to pigeonhole ASC becomes almost impossible. With a foot in the dance section, a foot in the experimental section and various limbs in genres that include ambient, drone, Motorik and maybe even noise, the job becomes an impossible task. At least ASC are still evolving, bringing something new with every visit. Your humble scribe doesn’t try to make sense of it all he just sits back and basks in its warmth. You should do the same.


Tipped Bowler:


ASC: astralsocialclub [at]

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