Deastro: Incinerator — Deastro is an experimental synth-pop artist from Detroit. After numerous synth-pop records, experiments and multiple transitions, Randy Chabot (aka Deastro) has yet again surprised me. Only a few artists change their style every record as often as he does and so the question is: Which iteration would he take with this record?
From his early demos, Deastro has always had an original and non-conventional sound. All of his self-released, early works DID have one thing in common: They were completely his. His first LP, Keepers, parted ways with his early sound in favor of more structured pop songs. The melodies were infectious and they made for an unforgettable record in every respect. Just before he was about to debut Moondagger with Ghostly International, he self-released Grower. It was the perfect in-between EP and showcased his talent for writing slower, more moody instrumentals. Moondagger was completely unexpected in every way: A hyper-active record filled with song after song of face-paced teen angst. It’s still probably the most upbeat electronic record I’ve ever heard before or since. This was then followed by Mind Altar the year after. Mind Altar was a bit slower than its predecessor and reminded me a little of what he gave us on his Grower EP. Since then, I followed his progress the best anyone could under the circumstances that he’s chosen to become more and more anonymous since Moondagger‘s release.
Incinerator was officially self-released almost a month ago, but it’s taken me this long to figure it out. While this is undoubtedly an EP of 4 songs, it doesn’t necessarily clock-in at a time you’d expect. 3 songs are actually between 7 and 9 mins while the remaining track is only 3 mins. I only bring this up because it’s really unusual for him. After spending hours wading through the 70+ songs in his catalog over the years, lengthy tracks are definitely a departure from everything he’s stood for up to this point. So after accepting its length, I began to analyze… Though I can only speculate why he isn’t a part of Ghostly, I can say that they’re missing out. Even though this is as lengthy as it is, it’s far more ambitious than his last 2 records. Incinerator sounds as if he slipped into a techno future world and is trying to recount his escape, if that makes any sense. It may not, but perhaps this was his intention: Unconventional for Deastro and unconventional for us. As with all lengthy songs on records, a balance needs to be struck so that repetition doesn’t creep in. Thankfully, though it definitely pushed the limits of my patience a couple of times, they artfully faded into something else before it became excessive.
Incinerator isn’t an album I could recommend to everyone, but if you love Deastro or experimental synth in general, this is very hard to ignore. Chabot’s genius will always be questioned by those who demand he simply recreate Moondagger or Keepers over and over again, but for those of us who understand the journey he’s taking us on, this is only one adventure of many to come…9.3/10