ALOG / ASTRAL SOCIAL CLUB (Fat Cat Split Seires # 20)
For the latest instalment of the Split Series, Fat Cat Records hint back towards their techno past. Not that this 12" is something you could bang out in the clubs, just that both artists here are dabbling in their previously displayed techno influences. [For those of you unfamiliar with your dance music, do not confuse the term "techno"
with anything you may have heard in the charts or experienced through the TV or radio, I am talking about techno purely in its purest, underground sense]
Side one is one long track by Alog called "Every Word Was Once An Animal". It's something of a big trance-inducing monster, all stuttering beats and primitive chanting. The rhythm is there, it compels you to motion but the primary stimulation is a mental one. The hypnotic rhythm and gently purring bass sounds envelop you in a whirlpool of sound.
Astral Social Club's side begins with the aptly named "Clarion Super-Cortex" weaving techno beats into another mind-expanding soundscape. Anyone familiar with Neil's beatier work already knows the synthesis of one of his shimmering sound fields with some computer beats works wonderfully. The second track, "Vurt Chorale #1" dispenses with the beats altogether and whips up the kind of dense, shimmering sound void that no-one else can generate. The third and final track, the curiously named "Corby Kiss" by contrast, works in some hard wonky beats into an alien electronic soundtrack. Possibly not the soundtrack to Corby on a Saturday night.
The two sides and the two acts compliment each other perfectly, giving the record a real sense of continuity and holding together nicely as an album. If you are after some modern machine music with heart, soul and innovation then this should fit the bill