Cassette: The Astroboy - The Chromium Fence | New music reviews, news & interviews
Cassette: The Astroboy - The Chromium Fence
Portuguese synthscapes look back to Germany and out to deep space
The Seventies “Kosmische” music of Germany – the more spaced-out and synthesister-led counterpart to Krautrock that had its commercial apogee in Tangerine Dream – seems to be a gift that keeps on giving. Perhaps because the releases were for so many years mainly obscure and had to be hunted down by passionate and/or deranged followers, it has built a global network of followers who extend its principles into new music. From Gorillaz' Damon Albarn to techno legends like Carl Craig, its rippling synth patterns and sidereal twinkles can be heard woven into the fabric of popular culture. And there are plenty who reproduce its most abstracted jams in pure form, too.
Whether the lush productions of France's Etienne Jaumet, the ragged and mind-scrambling audio art of Finland's Fonal records, or the gorgeous meditational sketches of Portuguese producer Luís Fernandes aka The Astroboy, plenty of musicians are tapping into the archaic technology and endless jamming of Kosmische music to produce fresh sounds. The Astroboy's science-fiction-themed pieces are in many senses very simple: they consist mainly of arpeggios, drones and twinkling high-end sounds that work entirely as textural pieces.
But their execution is so sincere, so impeccably rendered, that they have the sense of being devotional music, not so much above trends as oblivious to them in their pursuit of something superhuman in imaginitive scale. Like so much great experimental music now, this is only available on cassette or download – if you're lucky enough to get one of the 100 cassette copies in existence, you will own something very precious; how often do you hear that about a piece of music?
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
The glamorous fado star shines bright with songs from her new, upbeat album
The ultimate re-re-wind for the Miami-fied UK garage behemoth
Mike Oldfield's '70s classic. Performed live. With extra trombones
The Super Furries frontman releases a soundtrack that stands tall and on its own merits
Lavish package devoted to the three ‘Cathedral Oceans’ albums
First new work for four years is beautiful but nostalgic
The spirit of Pink Floyd lives on as the 'Rattle That Lock' tour comes home
Black Francis’s mob gets back into their stride with gusto
Can the Icelander's voice and chamber ensemble fill the Albert Hall?
An almanack of historical pleasures from the country songbook
Brit-American duo cross a continent digging into folk music's railroad mythology
The peacemaker of Fleetwood Mac on Mirage, Maui and missing the buzz