Hold on tight people, Neil Campbell AKA Astral Social Club is making his third (and greatest!) Trensmat appearance with the astounding album Electric Yep - 1,000,000 volts of pure sonic spectacle, confounding and exhilarating in roughly equal measure.
The first few seconds of opener Snow Clouds will make the seasoned 'Club goer feel all warm'n'fuzzy, as the trademark ASC multi-layered madness is in full effect. Pleasantly melodic acoustic strumming is offset with squawling distorto axe worship, random robotic plinks bob up and down in a throbbing synth soup, chaotic and irregular textural rhythms are kept in order by the metronomic low-end thuds. As these contradicting, coexisting components build in intensity, the tempo shifts slowly upwards (where else?). This surge in activity sets the scene for the buzzy, scuzzy mess that is Glitterstompf - all pounding distorted kicks, high-pitched synthetic swoops, and whacked-out guitar noise. Simultaneously bleak and euphoric, like attending an NKOTB reunion show with a free bar. When this bipolar assault can do no more damage, it whips to a sudden close and a much-needed ear-balm is administered in the form of the blissful Rainbow Weather. The title says it all really but imagine if you will a genre 'nu-new age', beamed from a parallel universe of pure love where the twin evils of whale song and pan pipes do not exist.
On the B, the sanity-challenging Twenty-four Times Yes immediately throws you arse-over-tit into the firing line of the audio equivalent of a particularly sadistic swimming pool wave machine. A relentless and frankly loopy rising/falling bleepgasm hammers the high and low registers (and all levels in between) while you flap about like a defensless idiot. It's completely and utterly maddening and things only get worse, for the 'release' after this bombardment is the jaw-smacking, gob-dropping Valley of the Left-handed Depilator, the peak of an lp made entirely of peaks. Ghosts of kicks that occasionally lurk in and out of the middle distance are kept at bay lion-tamer style by a whip-cracking hi-hat, so for most of its 8-minute duration you are left anchorless - gleefully suspended in a thick and tuneful atmosphere of perfect wild noise. The joyous, playful, and reflective closer Boiling Up The Bones is like landing triumphantly back home, or at least, somewhere similar to where we began roughly 34 minutes before. The ever-present bass kick (er, apart from the previous track) keeps a brisk but unobtrusive pace while you skip along gazing in wonder at the multitude of day-glo musical fruits, popping as many of these ASC lab-created sound-berries as you can into your basket - a basket you will never fill, for they are infinite.
Electric? A big, big YEP. Your humble gramophone will morph into a Tesla coil before your very ears...
Originally released as an edition of 250 black vinyl LPs in full colour sleeves.