"At the start of the year, I mentioned electro's recent resurgence and hoped that more artists would "go nuts" and broaden the genre's palate. Right now, Galaxian is one such artist. He doesn't deviate too much from the sound's usual sci-fi moods, but the boldness and curiosity of his music stands out. On "Ouroboros," a track on this EP for the new Berlin label Foul-Up, he cranks the levels up on everything and goes for it. It's a super-charged, 150 BPM-plus cut with screeching effects and an incredible breakdown where you can hear him goofing around with the knobs.
Roughly half of Blowback's tracks don't have beats, but the wild moods persist. "Truth Seizure" is a polyrhythmic mess of synths with crazy delay settings. On "Parasitic Seduction," he creates a smouldering skid mark of sound that could have come from the studio of Shapednoise. And even on the short, ostensibly softer interludes ("A Grand Delusion" and "Coercion") there's a razor-sharpness to Galaxian's gestures.
Along with "Ouroboros," "Tunnel Vision" is the best of the club tracks. Early on, a gorgeous wash of pads softens the drums' attack, but by the track's midpoint all bets are off—it's the sort of thing a DJ like Objekt would cunningly deploy at the end of a peak-time set. The straighter "Forget About It" and "Blowback" aren't quite as distinctive but are worth considering if you're digging for more standard electro. Between this EP and the recent Dosing The Population, Galaxian has shown that he's currently among electro's most inspired producers"
"Glasgow's Mark Kastner, who like to travel the airwaves under the name Galaxian, has only just recently dropped a quasi LP for the Lower Parts imprint and already he's back with yet another new LP, this time for the fledgling yet endlessly pleasing boutique label Foul-Up. If you're expecting two sides of straight-up electro then you might be taken by surprise; the majority of Blowback is indeed beat-driven, but it's the spaces between the fully-formed tunes that we find particularly impressive. For instance, the dark and ominous flow of the excellent "Forget About It" is surrounded by a swarm of other beatless tunes which render it a sort of climax. In fact, this LP is all about the peaks and troths, building continuous momentum and anticipation through hollow sounds that swell and liquify on a constant basis. It is one hell of an 'electro' LP, and this sits right up there with DJ Stingray's best moments over the last five years. Don't sleep!"
A1 – Truth Seizure
A2 – Parasitic Seduction
A3 – Forget About It
A4 – Ouroboros
B1 – Coercion
B2 – Tunnel Vision
B3 – Blowback
B4 – A Grand Delusion
For their third iteration, Berlin-based Foul-Up continue their exploration of mind-expanding electronics and off-standards sonic borderlands with Glaswegian producer Mark Kastner aka Galaxian at the controls. His new EP, 'Blowback', makes for a blood-and-thunder wayfaring into deeply anxiogenic terrains and confined audio spaces, bridging an earthly post-industrial and ambient murk – 'Truth Seizure', 'Parasitic Seduction' – with mythical visions of everlasting human struggles as seen through a broken kaleidoscope of ruffneck electro and mind-altering drone flexions – 'Ouroboros', 'Coercion'. From this point Kastner fast-forwards from the unsettling inertia of a grey-lacquered suburbia up to a smouldering bedlam rife with acidic geysers, primitive drum motifs and untamed machines gargling in agony as interstellar winds blow loud and heavy. Galaxian sure feels at his best when the pressure is high and the comfort zone exceeded, moving against the cultural zeitgeist and its affiliated schools of thought to fight arbitrary paradigms and noxious ideologies with his own arms. * If you haven't come across his work yet, just make sure you fasten your seat belt first and, well, hold on tight to it. Blasting out fast-breaking electro grooves over jagged tech-y pulsations and dystopian atmospherics, he increases the strain by lashing forcible breaks and laser-sharp synth lines turned onto the highest pitch and torn in flaming vibratos, growing nervier with every bar as a seemingly helter-skelter vortex of loud, burning bass surfs builds up on the epic 'Blowback'. 'Forget About It' finds him deftly manoeuvring off the grid for a trippy hybrid of gravity-defying garage/jungle – leaning towards further elevated heights with its finely arranged flight of blissed-out, textured pads and altered vox questioning human responsibility and its natural appetite for destruction, putting in perspective the subsequent blindness regarding the consequences of our actions as a voice drones an unequivocal speech: ‘And we just want to try and not think about it, forget about it – stay away from it, as far as possible [...] Who are we’. Human compassion and profound artistic authenticity as echoed in the age of disinformation and masks multiplication are at the core of Galaxian's musical ethos. Preaching the assumption of nonstandard pluralness in a world dominated by greed and dependence, 'Blowback' resounds like a compelling act of faith.
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