a2005119360_16Matching lyrics which are poetic, scientific and philosophical to music which is hypnotic and mercurial, Astrobal’s Memories of Stars falls somewhere between a new wave of underground dance culture and Carl Sagan’s iconic Cosmos reimagined as music. It is full of electronic soundscapes, psychedelic meanderings and slow pop grooves and whilst we think of electronic music as being very much a recent form, here the echos of early pioneers such as the Enid, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, who incidentally get namechecked, can clearly be heard. But as is always the way with the cyclical nature of music, looking back is the same as looking forward, sort of, and as much as this music tips its hat to those originators, it also blazes its own, fairly gentle, trail into its own future.

The title track is the briefest of encounters, a spoken word delivery over a slow but relentless beat, fading out like a broken signal just over a minute down the line and at the other extent of the musical brief is Belle Comme La Nuit whose glitchy grooves steer closest to what you could concieve as a converntional dance track. Within these two parameters, the pace is wonderfully smooth, the tone warm and engaging, the lyrics scattered between spoken, sung or robotic and the overall effect is as intriguing and digitally otherworldly.

For those who need to order their life in such ways you can file this under, dance, alt-pop, progressive, cosmic soundtrack, cinematic, ambient or experimental, depending on just where in the sonic water you dip your toe. Those who care less about such things just file it under wow!

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