In the months after the early-2009 release of his space-rock opus Moondagger, Deastro’s Randolph Chabot descended into a frenzy of writing, recording new song after new song and releasing the tracks for free on his blog. Even then, his style was beginning to metamorphose—growing layers of murky atmospherics, sprouting fizzy textures and plumes of reverb’d distortion. Deastro’s Mind Altar EP isn’t “the new face of Deastro”, it’s merely one iteration of a constantly evolving entity. The Deastro on Mind Altar shouts up from a deep well of echo, achieving a level of sonic mystery and menace that’s quite new for the mercurial artist. The sky-scraping anthems are still there, although they’re now shrouded in clouds.
The eight-song Mind Altar EP—originally released on cassette through Deastro’s blog—comes with three bonus tracks from the also-blog-released Orange Swimmer Red Summer EP, all of which has been remastered and reissued into a cohesive, album-length EP. The record opens with the title track, a peppy, drum-machine-led chugger drenched in Chabot’s watery vocals which recalls a sopping-wet Broadcast, albeit one with a propensity for heartstring-tugging melody. “Genesis Weapon” is a slice of oddball, harmonized pop that is periodically obliterated by a blast of fuzztones. On “Shield Whip” (from the Orange Swimmer Red Summer EP), Deastro reaches for the stars in one of his finest lo-fi electro-anthems yet. “We’re gonna turn your sad face off.” Chabot sings, “we’re gonna lift the low man up”—an uplifting sentiment, but given the track’s abrasive textures, it sounds like the sad-faced low man might be Chabot himself.
Although Randolph Chabot’s music has always glowed with positivity, it took an adolescent epiphany to bring his alter-ego, Deastro, into the light of day. By age 17, Chabot says, “I...check out Deastro's page and other releases