Review : Deastro - Moondagger
TinymixtapesDetroit was once an epicenter of industrial progress and musical milestones; some of the most historic moments in American automotive and musical history happened here. But while the city is historically famous for the Model T and singing-sensation Martha Reeves, it’s currently infamous for the car company bailout and nutty councilwoman Martha Reeves. Indeed, the subject matter that’s propelled Detroit onto the national news cycle lately has been less than positive. This is a city that’s hurting, and in many people’s minds, the stereotype is that Detroit is either a scary place or a complete joke.
In reality, however, Detroit has some fervent champions willing to stand above the fray. Randolph Chabot, a.k.a. Deastro, is one of them, and his message of hope, pride, and brilliance is delivered within a musical kaleidoscope of intergalactic optimism. He sees the potential good in Detroit, and he protects and defends it in and through his music. This is electro-pop perfection by a guy who faces reality with fantasy, equipped with sword and shield. This isn’t to say that he’s delusional; it’s to say that he has a creative side strong enough to make the challenges of Detroit — and, really, the universe — surmountable. Although he’s been prolifically releasing stuff for the past few years, Moondagger is his first proper full-length and will likely be the introductory release to most people.
And a fitting intro it is. Moondagger stunningly displays Deastro at his best. Musically, it’s a hyper-mix of sounds familiar with an equal dose of distinctive Deastro. Sure you’ll hear traces of Joy Division, New Order, My Bloody Valentine, Brian Wilson, and Steve Reich, but nothing sounds rehashed or contrived. You can almost imagine Bernard Sumner hearing “Kurgan Wave Number One” and nodding in approval or Brian Wilson deciding that the last minute-and-a-half of “Daniel Johnson Was Stabbed...” makes up for those few years he spent locked away in his bedroom wearing his bathrobe all the time....full text
BaeblemusicDeastro is a master at creating alternative worlds, full of colors and miniscule shapes spiraling into new patterns and formations, bells and twinkles and hundreds of electronic noises mashing into pop. More than that, though, more than the layers of spacey fantasy sounds and images that Moondagger paints, these are genuine, relatable pop songs. A hook, a bouncy melody, that tangles an unsuspecting listener into this world, might not be so bad of a sacrifice. Deastro's stories are rich and energetic, bright and none-suspecting of harsh gray bricks of this reality, instead sight set on beyond, beyond, stars and galaxies and an optimism 22-year-old Randolph Chabot is convinced of.
"Day of Wonder" is a song of wonder, as well, distant technicolor melodies a highway for reality and wishes, this assured colorful symphony that "all sorrows will pass away." "Vermillion Plaza" recounts an epic story spliced in between frenzied frantic beats and a song that matches its pace and plotline. Title track "Moondagger" is a catchy, energetic high pitched sprinkles of electronic melodies swirling to a full, satisfying expansive chorus....full text
ChewinggumfortheearsSpiritual space-rock may be an awkward musical term, but it's perhaps the best way to describe Randolph Chabot's unique brand of electronic pop. The 22 year-old prodigy recording under the Deastro moniker draws inspiration from singing in church choirs, eighties synth-pop and any electronic or organic instrument he can get his hands on. A collection of his earliest material was released last year as Keepers and became something of a surprise hit on eMusic, which released the compilation. Now, Chabot returns with a proper debut in Moondagger, a feverishly upbeat and effortlessly enjoyable blast of catchy pop music with an endearingly geeky sci-fi edge.
What's immediately striking about the music on Moondagger is the way Chabot squeezes so much beauty and warmth out of a palette consisting primarily of cheesy synthesizers and weird electronic noises mixed with more organic guitar and drum riffs. Instead of cold, calculated beats, songs like openers "Biophelia" and "Parallelogram" hum with emotion in the midst of crashing percussion and spacey keyboard riffs. Though the record certainly has a very outlandish theme with song titles like "Toxic Crusaders" and "Pyramid Builders," it's obvious that Chabot enjoys adding a very human element to his music which keeps the subjects more relatable and personal while still providing an inimitable listening experience. Especially great are the shifting, bizarre "Greens, Grays, And Nordics" and the epic second single "Vermillion Plaza," both of which show Deastro at their quirky, explosive best....full text
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