Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mind Altar EP - Deastro

Mind Altar EP

Ghostly International.

SCQ Rating: 77%

Despite all of Moondagger’s drastic genre-turns and predominantly goofy lyrics, its production qualities kept most astute listeners on the fence. That Deastro, who is known to friends as Randolph Chabot, managed to overcome his debut’s youthful attention span with a veteran’s aptitude for electronics seemed like a saving grace the first time around, and Chabot appears uninterested in risking another half-hearted reception. Gathering songs from a tumultuous, post-Moondagger writing period that initially littered track-by-track onto Deastro’s blog, Mind Altar EP finds the producer going back to the drawing board for a winning formula.

If you’ve heard the title track, a galvanic, soft-focus electro-pop jam that sizzles and menaces like a drugged-out summer sun, you’ll know first-hand Deastro pinpointed the formula to move forward with. Abandoning the hectic hodgepodge of Moondagger for an unfurling utopia of echo-drenched productions, Deastro has reemerged a cagey experimentalist with ‘Pastor Kid Redux Edition’, a fatalistic beat-n-organ mashing, and the snow-crunched dance grooves of ‘Get Frostied’. With the majority of these tracks mixing hyperactive electronic codas with layers of keys and Chabot’s vocals, Mind Altar EP delivers Deastro’s most focused songwriting yet, free from over-thinking but obscured in threadbare clouds of sensation. Such an approach is apparent on highlights like ‘The Concept of Land Ownership’ and ‘World of Shadow’, two vaguely cinematic compositions that wrestle a radical niche (think glo-fi meets shoegaze) out of a massive emotive scope.

Harnessing a more serious-minded set of exploratory songs, Mind Altar EP is rightfully getting the Ghostly treatment, remastered and armed with three bonus tracks. The fleeting promise behind Moondagger has officially landed.

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