Dec 5, 2010

Sundaze 1010

Hello, what can I say..i was a bit confused yesterday-it seems the cold can do that to you- anyway i was posting for friday on saturday ooops, can happen not that it matters much, Blaxplotation is a great compilation..On to the matter at hand, there was some deliberate confusion about who was behind the moniker Astrobotnia, the connection to the Aphex Twin was obvious music and label wise but..another name was dropped who subsequently disappeared from view so forget about Kristian, one Aleksi Kristian Perälä ( finnish) is listed as the man behind Astrobotnia at Discogs. I'd say make your own mind up...

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The Aphex-founded and self-described "braindance" label Rephlex released the first three Astrobotnia efforts within a month of each other, never actually disclosing who made them. Which has conveniently left people placing bets that Astrobotnia is really Richard D James returning to form in disguise. Rephlex remained swinishly silent. How tempting it is, after one pass through two albums (Part One and Part Three) and their companion twelve-inch (Part Two), to conclude that the rumors are truth. The chiming synth pads, intricate drum programming, and loopy but captivating melodic eccentricity certainly point in his direction. Rephlex assured that it's not actually Aphex, but rather the work of one Kristian Richards--still not true it was Aleksi Kristian Perälä (Ovuca), who seeming to be a new artist on the roster making his debut on the label. The fact remains that Astrobotnia Part 01 is a pretty credible and interesting release even though it sounds a lot like something Richard D James would have been involved with.

The two CD releases are true to the Rephlex school of sound design: geared for home-listening rather than club use, and riddled with fearsome drum machine programming and gleaming ambient chords which surf the crests of adapted jungle rhythms. Though Astrobotnia, wisely, shows delicacy with the opener to Part One, "Lightworks". Emerging from the far distance, echoed crackles and faint explosions of fireworks. Astrobotnia deftly morphs these firework sounds into a fragile but complex series of beats, which he binds together with a shimmering belt. "Hallo" spends three-quarters of its length pitting breaks against beatlessness until Astrobotnia relents and allows the beatless to shimmer towards the final fade. It then runs through a series of lovely IDM pieces, most of which are accentuated with all the styles you're likely to find on most releases of this genre.

Released on a twelve-inch, the six untitled tracks that comprise Part Two are primed and cut for clubs, recalling the intoxicating pounding excesses of Squarepusher's Big Loada. " Phased, flanged, and timestretched with caustic rips and ambient nastiness. The final track recapitulates much of the previous five, but adds a humorously dated future-sound with Astrobotnia's widespread use of retro-spacy BBC Radiophonic Workshop vibes.

Part Three returns to the expansive headspace of Part One, albeit with a more malevolent undertow. Here, the elements that make Part One so lush and celebratory are curiously corrupted.

Astrobotnia 1 (01 84mb)

01 - 1 Lightworks
02 - 1 Hallo
03 - 1 Everyone
04 - 1 Acidophilus
05 - 1 Untitled
06 - 1 The Wing Thing
07 - 1 Miss June
08 - 1 Sweden
09 - 1 Applause

Astrobotnia 2 (01 82mb)

10 - 2 Untiteld 01
11 - 2 Untiteld 02
12 - 2 Untiteld 03
13 - 2 Untiteld 04
14 - 2 Untiteld 05
15 - 2 Untiteld 06

Astrobotnia 3 (01 95mb)

16 - 3 Muminaa
17 - 3 B
18 - 3 Acidophilus ii
19 - 3 Portable Motor Home
20 - 3 Drops
21 - 3 Thoarse
22 - 3 Esther Calling Jennifer
23 - 3 Bifidus
24 - 3 Leftovers
25 - 3 Cunt
26 - 3 I Am Mr P

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