It's 1221

DEASTRO “gemstones from the dancing sweat caves”
31 May, 2009, 7:26 PM
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Here is one artist that I am currently loving and you don’t have to take my word for it; Sean Moeller at Daytrotter wrote a dazzling review of the Detroit-based group. Usually I don’t paste other people’s work here, but this captures the ambience so well. Moeller’s writing is like a runaway train, building and building with technicolor adjectives and high-voltage verbs. Here it is:

Deastro takes us to a place that flies in the face of the invisible borderline between glossed up spangles and sparkly floors and the blackest of gothic hallways, all the while pumping danceable jams lightly through the heating ducts – giving us everything we need to mope and grind. What we hear out of the Detroit group fronted by Randy Chabot – a heady and thought provoking writer – are thousands of nerves in various different tunings, from the highest strung to the lowest and everything in between to make for a clustering of feelings and diversions, aches and hugs. It’s a combination of sensations that unlock coldness from the hottest of bodies and takes a happy-go-lucky joyride through the pits of a place much bleaker and confusing, where the shades are always drawn, but the room isn’t absent of little rays of chipper goodness. It’s the way things tend to be most of the time – these collages of clutter, these contradictions of slappy times and of incorrigible, rocky roads. Chabot makes electronic bubbles consort with some dark lyrics of brain-powered curiosity about the deeper layers of consideration, not just the surface topics that get all of the love. It’s like taking a swim through a make believe world that’s been transported from a different, milky galaxy and is shown to be a collision of wild absences, drunken philosophies and hyperactive star-gazing that result in freakouts galore. The latest album, “Moondagger,” is a mysterious hybrid of psychedelia, laptop sorcery and the kind of weirdo folk that the Dodos are making out there in the Bay Area. It’s a record that has all kinds of heads, all of which share in Chabot’s attention to all of the shivers and slivers of the intersecting stripes of black diamonds and the dust that comes from crunching them against one another to make a fine powder. The landscape that they created on the album’s gated fold-out is similar to the one that goes on within the contents – one of land made out of conjoined, fallen kites and mountains made out of strange, paper teeth and clear piles of gemstones. Chabot sings, “I’ve never seen, I’ve never seen a dead man rise/I’ve never seen the edge of time,” and there’s enough skepticism over here to think that he’s not being totally forthcoming. He probably has seen the edge of time out there on the horizon, dealing blindness and dirty looks as if it’s been figured out just a little bit by this young man from the Motor City. And, there’s really no way we can be positive that he’s never seen a dead man rise for the music alone seems to be a lovely bit of bargaining power to get those corpses to twist their way back up to the surface to see what the sweet commotion is on the level. It would be the dance party that they’d find themselves humming to whether it was good for them or not. Deastro is the sweaty distraction to everything else around you, at a time when you might greatly need a distraction, giving you the kind of boiling impulses and giving you – from the other hand – a fan to offer yourself a bit of a breeze when things get pulsing too hot and steamy.

Check out the article on Daytrotter to score some tunes, hit it at MySpace, and check out Ghostly International aka Deastro’s sweet-ass label

Deastro plays Spaceland on June 25 (yay and boo since I’m booked that night across town)

Illustration by Johnnie Cluney for Daytrotter


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