Astralasia — Wind on Water
(Fruits de Mer Winkle 17, 2014, LP+EP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-09-04Where do I start? The cover or the music? This new vinyl LP+EP happens to be the most ambitious FdM release to date, and the production challenges delayed its release by several weeks. So I’ll start with the cover. This is an optical illusion created by the printed dust jacket housed in a heavy PVC outer sleeve; the elements interact in interesting patterns as you remove the album from the sleeve. A pretty psychedelic place to start and a great accompaniment to Astralasia’s brand of Krautrock/Motorik/Eastern-influenced music. Inside the sleeve you find a clear vinyl LP and EP containing nearly one hour of mind-blowing music. Each side of the LP contains one long and one short instrumental track that could have easily appeared on the German Brain label alongside Neu! The opening track “Rangoon” is a very tasty number with filters slowly opening and closing to bring wave upon wave of sound. This reminds me of Fred Becker’s Inner, Stellar and the work of Rodelius and Göttsching. The title track is excellent! “Wind on Water” is full of tabla, electronics, etc. sounding quite like both Harmonia and Neu! Opening side two is “Cresta Run,” an unreleased track from 2006, which is a change of pace and moves a bit towards New Age. Closing the LP is “The Innosense,” a floating electronic tapestry like Jade Warrior and then sequencers kick in to propel it to its climax. The bonus single contains an additional Krautrock jewel, “Continuum,” that could not fit on the LP and an oddball sinister Western gothic track “The Desert,” another unreleased 2006 track that could have been on the soundtrack to Natural Born Killers. This is one of the best FdM releases ever.
Related artist(s): Astralasia
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