Astral TV is a new project from Causa Sui synth- and electronics-wiz Rasmus Rasmussen and fellow inner-space traveller Keith Canisius. On ”Crystal Shores” they create fluctuating aural landscapes, ranging from subtle and earthy to celestial and downright paranormal. Inspired in part by classic synth-scores, vintage European ”kosmische” and modern drone, the duo has created the soundtrack for a heady, sonic trip.
Like with the best new age music these sounds can provide solace and regenerative energies in the listener, but ultimately the moods the duo are creating are too open and ambiguous to be neatly categorized. The bright analog synths and delicate Stratocaster notes occasionally conjures images of rushing water, slowly passing cumulus and weightless, orbiting satellites.
But there are more mysterious undercurrents in this music as well – periodically pulling it into peculiar, hypnagogic realms, where ghostly digital presences awake. ”Crystal Shores” is awash in layers of tonal perfection, and while it constantly evolves, there's a unified feel to each of its gorgeous vinyl sides.
The duo has that rare ability to create a sense of familiarity without feeling like a retread. Fans of minimalism, ambient and vintage synth scores will find much to delight in in these multicoloured, rich-sounding grooves.
Tracklisting: 1. Before We Meet 2. Mirrors 3. Staying Home 4. Human 5. Synthetic Thoughts 6. It Moves 7. Sun Flares 8. Past Days 9. 0000 10. Stations 11. Welcome 12. Area S4 13. Surveillance 14. Crystal Shores
Since they formed in 2004, Danish instrumental four-piece Causa Sui has become a much revered act on the fertile European psych scene. The soil planted in festivals like Roadburn, Roskilde, Burg Herzberg, and praise been harvested in Uncut, Julian Cope, Mojo. As well as growning a dedicated fanbase - paying top euros for a first edition vinyl of any of the bands 7 past LPs. Many psych- and stonerrock bands aim for the perfect imitation of that vintage heavypsych sound circa 1970, but Causa Sui have forged their own distinct path. Causa Sui draws on a larger pool than the usual derived exploration of Sabbath riffs and clichéd krautrock jamming. Collaborations include members of Tortoise and Chicago Underground Collective (under the name Chicago Odense Ensemble) and Sunburned Hand of the Man (released as Pewt'r Sessions) and the band always adds untraditional flavours, past and present, into their seething experimental sound. Causa Sui's has been described as the sound of a giant wave rolling up through the last
four decades of rock, which is truer than ever before regarding their latest, and most ambitious album to date, Euporie Tide. Yes, the heavy riffs are certainly here, but it's apparent that it does not tread the waters of ”retro rock”. There's a different depth here. Whereas previous albums was brewed with spontaneity, and flickers of complete improv, Euporie Tide was meticulously perfected over years of work. Opening track, Homage, pays tribute to the early/mid 1990s American grunge and stonerrock bands the band grew up with. From that point of departure Causa Sui goes on to weave a rich and complex textile, with threads coming from early 1970s electric jazz,
post-rock, exotica, heavy rock, raga and all kinds of psychedelia. Whether the band goes for straight up ROCK or ventures into freeform territory there's always that certain warmth and atmosphere present, which is so characteristic for Causa Sui. When one reaches the multigenre-influenced grooves on the albums D-side it's obvious that the band has arrived at something that is very relevant in the present day. The album was recorded and produced by Jonas Munk, crafting a sound that is simultaneously naturalistic in approach, yet strangely detailed. The album was mastered in a way as to maintain the full dynamic range of the recordings.
Tracklisting: 1. Homage 2. The Juice 3. Echo Springs 4. Boozehound 5. Mireille 6. Fichelscher Sun 7. Ju-Ju Blues 8. Sota El Cel 9. Euporie 10. Eternal Flow
2nd album from Danish synth-improv duo Videodrones, dives deeper their brand of throbbing synth themes from the goriest movies that never was. It’s easy to hear the starting point of Videodrones: From italian composers such as Fabio Frizzi, Marcello Giombini, Riz Ortolani - or even Morricone & Alessandroni at their most industrial.
But Videodrones adds a touch of previously unheard madness to their Giallo-themed synth-gasms. Based largely on improvisation, Videodrones tosses and turns - it’s like the thing is ALIVE: leaving slimy trail of electronic musical styles in their wake: there’s toxic levels of italio disco, german kosmiche musik, new age, even some stabs at holy grails of 70’s and 80’s pop.
The record culminates in a Synth-proto-doom track - Nattens Hævn (Revenge of the Night): too weird to live, yet too rare to die. Videodrones improvisations are far from boring: chopped into smaller bits the album is of a suite-like nature - keeping the odd, jagged energy of improvisation, every part adds to a whole, larger narrative.
The result is a suite-like walkthru, often changing pace, dropping notes or drifting in scale. The images Videodrones convey is collectedly strangely solemn - almost uplifting at times, in their maddening state of constant synth flux.
Tracklisting: 1. The Jugular Gate 2. Maniac City 3. Institute 4. Dream Within A Dream 5. Hero 6. A Column 7. Mørkets Rædsler 8. Night Dome 9. Gate 2 10. A Blade In Your Mind 11. Domains 12. Shape Shifter 13. Nattens Hævn