Hear The Track HereThe second netlabel up this month is from Astor Bell, a netlabel - like 23 seconds - operating out of Sweden who emailed me some release info. Now I like the whole idea of netlabels from every angle and, to be honest, I haven't heard many that don't come up to a very exacting A&R standard and IMHO Astor Bell fit right in there with 23 seconds. The Astor 004 release is Donny Karson and the intriguingly named Def Leppard, and the attention to detail - and uniqueness of sound - that categorise good (worthwhile) netlabel releases is evident. Not much info, unfortunately, on who or what Donny Karson is, or where from but hey, the music should say it anyway right? Well, in this case, I don't give a toss if Donny Karson is a bona fide Martian complete with bug eyes, so long as he keeps coming up with material as strong as the two tracks that make up Astor 004.
Pre, Erle (don't ask, I don't know) starts off the set and my God what a classic introduction it is. Astor Bell describe the music as 'based on a dark industrial vibe: deep bass, scary distortions and metallic samples a'la Berghain' and I'd say that was right on the money. Except for the Berghain bit which I didn't understand at all while listening to the track but have since found out this, which makes everything much, much clearer. Personally if I had been in a club that played this, I would have pissed off the DJ mightily by pestering him for the name of this track - thats how much of an impression it made on me. A weird and wonderful combination Pre, Erle isn't an easy beast at all to describe but its mix of dance and electronica is gripping, tightly arranged and surprisingly easy to listen to - even someone as phobic as me about this particular genre.
Pre, Erle - as good as it was - merely a taster for the delights that lurk inside Def Leppard. To put you out of misery quickly, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the heavy metal band of the same name, although I contend that there is the same amount of riffing going on - except in Donny's case it's pretty much all electronic. Its mixture of odd, whimsical sounds is a bit off putting at first but believe me spending some time with this track will soon change that initial impression. The combination of sounds between the two tracks show that Donny Karson is an electronica musician who knows precisely what they are about, and one I am very pleased to have met at last. Electronica, aye. But not as we know it Captain...
Most Highly Recommended and MUST HAVE if you like unique electronica.