Mind Altar

By Alan RantaAs an electro pop producer in his early 20s, Randolph Chabot is growing up before our very ears. Armed with a decade of knob-twiddling experience and the desire to improve with every track, Deastro's skills are finally beginning to match his ambition. With Mind Altar, he incorporates further shoegaze distortion and raw production into his aesthetic, resulting in a more organic mix of synthetic and acoustic sounds. His compositions are distinctly richer and moodier than those on 2009's Moondagger. Each piece is heavily layered, approaching Ulrich Schnauss territory, with his vocals so drenched in reverb that they're often unintelligible, shifting their focus to timbre rather than the obvious meaning. Chabot's works are still less refined than the likes of James Tamborello (DNTEL) and Schnauss, yet more experimental than the Justin Timberlake-oriented direction of Milosh. As he works through the transition from his parents' basement to a proper studio, the odd off-key vocals (like the "Get Frostied" chorus) and traces of frequency interference occasionally suck the listener out of the overall experience. Yet, moments like "The Concept of Land Ownership," a heavy piano turned cascading 8-bit instrumental, show Deastro becoming a legitimate electronic musician.
(Ghostly International)
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