Astral Darkness is a DJ/Electronic music producer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Experimenting with several styles of music, including Industrial, Trip-Hop, Big Beat, Dark Ambient, he takes his influences from NIN, Massive Attack to Crystal Method and Aphex Twin. Astral developed his skills in electronic dance music in Palma de Mallorca and taking his sound throughout Spain. He undertook a sound engineering course, specializing in music production and sound design for video games. His first album entitled “Soul Revelations” reached Number One in the electronic charts and made the Spanish Top 10 in its first week of release.
Now relocated in London, Astral has recently released the 12-track “Surreal Dreams” album. Astral’s emotions and sounds standing naked to the listener in this album that refuses to leave you past the end. It’s an album that’s hard to describe, but it is easily put on a cinematic scale that only few bands can give you. I must confess that I was not a fan of Astral Darkness before this album, but he has earned my full respect and attention with this collection.
Many of the tracks on “Surreal Dreams” create music that encapsulates a mood in its entirety. This, to me, is a tremendous feat. Few musicians can do this. It is a sign that Astral Darkness has reached musical maturity. There are so many layers of sounds that blend seamlessly to create each song, and the instrumentals here are awe-inspiring to say the least. Not to mention the varying styles used; from big beat to darkwave and experimental to industrial.
But don’t expect to pop this into your player and fall in love with it immediately, the first time you listen to it. This album takes time to seep into your veins as it grows on you steadily after each hearing. Astral Darkness’ music will take you to places you didn’t even imagine existed once you hook onto it. From the moment Pulsing Star kicks in to open the album, there is not one wasted second on the entire album. It’s all good, all well-constructed, and all perfectly executed. Standout tracks abound, with some of my favorites being: Moondance, Dee Phazed, Spectrum, Action To Reaktion, Magnetic Fields and Darkest Sky.
There are softer songs, there are heavier songs and there are emotional songs. No two songs however, sound alike, and no two songs make you feel the same way. That is the prowess of Astral Darkness. The thing about “Surreal Dreams” is, you can’t just listen to it once and absorb everything. There are so many subtle parts that you just don’t notice the first, second, or even third time around. This album takes you on a journey through a vast catalogue of emotions, ranging from unbridled joy to quiet desperation and somber beauty.
Astral Darkness’ combination of industrial-like sounds, determined percussion, and electronic effects, blend with the smooth rhythms to add great waves of emotion. The abundance of good material on “Surreal Dreams” is astonishing. The powerful electronic assaults are counterbalanced with lilting, but no less intense, instrumental passages that provide necessary breathing room for the listener. This is music for people who like…music!