Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Astral Social Club #13

A clutch of new releases from Neil Campbell AKA Astral Social Club, AKA one of the busiest men in show business! First to play on the hi-fi is the 23 minute CDR "Glamanimals". This is the third in an ongoing series of Astral Social Club extended plays that also includes "Scudding" and "V.E.N.U.S".
"Glamanimals" kicks off floating somewhere between a Chris & Cosey studio out-take from the late 1980's, elevator muzak, Popol Vuh and the chill out room at G-A-Y Disco. Around a third of the way in to the journey and the sound morphs. We are now riding the Japanese bullet train. Locomotive rhythms and electro-noodles. Half way along and we're squelched and travelling backwards, back on to the Mirfield dance floor. Throbbing bass beats and handclaps. Slowly it all descends in to a disco fug. "Glamanimals" ends beatless as machines talk amongst themselves Neil Campbell - a 21st century schizoid man - recordings of automata - manifesto for astral socialism. Superb.

Astral Social Club has a big cartel page - go and buy. Neil has also put up his back catalogue on band camp and is available for donations. Be generous - this man's a treasure!


  1. Thanks for this Steve, for once I’m around to pick up as Astral Social Club release before it goes OOP, I always seem to come across these releases way too late… This seems a good place to add a few belated comments for the 07/03/2013 Neil Campbell Broadcast special which I thoroughly enjoyed and livened up an otherwise chilly morning here in this corner of Ireland. I haven’t had a blast of ASC in a while now, and when I get a little time later I’m gonna revisit the few ASC CDs I have as well as some Vibracathedral Orchestra stuff. Show was a fantastic mix I must say, some truly brilliant stuff, and among my highlights was the Walden/Campbell/Plaistow track from the Agdam compilation, the utterly creepy ESP Kinetic track Under My Bed, the live Untitled Flower & Campbell piece (which reminded me of Spacemen 3’s live version of Suicide, no bad thing!), and the brilliant Vice Versa track (the band is new to me, but it’s a classic indeed). I was hoping you might have announced the Clock DVA track because I’m never quite sure how to pronounce this band. I’ve been calling them D-V-A since I first picked up one of their releases in the mid-90’s and even though I know it’s wrong, it kinda stuck. I don’t think it gets acknowledged enough these days, but White Souls in Black Suits is one of the most idiosyncratic releases of that era. I still think it’s one of the most difficult things Industrial ever put out…

    1. Thank you for your kind words Wes, much appreciated….very impressed by your writings too …
      NB. The Wire magazine is written by and for people who know nowt about experimental music.