♫♪  Astral Social Club - “Wet Chemicals”

Come now, come now, have a seat — yes. The first thing you might notice about my apartment is that all of my walls, ceilings, and furniture are constructed from physical media containing Neil Campbell’s music. You know Neil Campbell, yes? Omnivorous drone/noise/electronic musician who has built a remarkable catalog across more than 20 years in the UK experimental underground, both solo and in a number of ensembles? Quite right. If you’d like to begin a tour of my Campbell collection, I refer you to the stool on which you sit now, cobbled together from early 00’s CDr releases, both mini and normal-sized. I see you eyeing my Vibracathedral Orchestra-themed dining room, complete with a petite chandelier sculpted from the melted vinyl of the first self-titled 2xLP on VHF that I wore out from constant playback. If you doubt the table’s structural integrity, I assure you that those keystone cassettes contain primal drone/psych sessions ferocious enough to support the weight of any Easter feast. On your left, you’ll find the door to the Astral Social Club parlor… but I can’t show you in at the moment. The external wall is nearly complete, save for one glaring tape-sized hole that remains in the façade.

What’s that you say? NNA Tapes has released a new Astral Social Club cassette entitled Destiny SNFU and you have a copy on your person at this moment? Before we complete the wall, may we have a listen? “Wet Chemicals” tumbles across its running time as a stuttering ‘podge of drum machine thuds, corrupted Casio wails, and static interjections. If one branch of the many-splendored ASC catalog finds Campbell stacking many layers of guitar-based drone and hi-fi electronic bleeps into an impenetrable wall of tone, Destiny Snafu errs on the “minimal” side of his output: synth voices have space to breathe and decay between beats; discrete pulses hammer through the mix and fade back into the garbled backdrop; each burst of pitch-randomized noise reaches our ears in full detail. No, I can’t accept your copy to use in my Campbell-based home. You hold on to yours, and I’ll just buy my own.

• Astral Social Club: http://astralsocialclub.wordpress.com
• NNA Tapes: http://nnatapes.com

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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