TOKI FUKO – SPIRIT MEDICINE
The releases on Astral Industries can easily be recognized from their cover art (by Theo Ellsworth) alone. But the music of their releases is equally recognizable: most Astral Industries releases share a similar style and atmosphere. Or at least variations on that signature style.
Spirit Medicine, the new release of Toki Foku, has that pleasant ‘Fourth World Music’ atmosphere, similar to label-mates Chi Factory. A hypnotic rhythm, bamboo flute, didgeridoo drone in the background…. ‘a venture into the realms of consciousness…’
Side two dives even deeper into that realm, with the extensive use of voice samples that – according to a commenter on Discogs – are (partly) taken from an interview with ‘a catatonic schizophrenic, patient 18’ from 1961. (This interview can be seen on YouTube, and until now reached a fascinating 24 million views).
And that is where the warm relaxing atmosphere slowly drifts into uncanny valley territory.
Toki Fuko, Russian artist Sergey Korotaev, previously created deep and hypnotic techno. On what seems to be his third full album release the ‘deep and hypnotic’ remains, but the techno is exchanged for sounds more psychedelic.
“Perhaps a memory, or the momentary glimpse of a parallel reality.”
ROD MODELL – GHOST LIGHTS
‘Dub Techno Legend’ Rod Modell (a.k.a. Deepchord) presents his new solo album as the 35th release for the Astral Industries label. Not his first title for the label but the first under his own name – Lanterns (2014) and Immersions (2018) were previously released as Deepchord; while Bioluminence (2020), V 3.0-3.9 (2020) and Cardamom & Laudanum (2022) featured Modell as part of various duos.
Modell leaves out the dub technno beats to present a ‘wide, cinematic sound – with long arching contours, ripping textures and cavernous sound design’.
The best way to experience this is lying back relaxed, with the lights dimmed, and let ‘each chapter take you successively deeper into the twilight zone’.
The only downside is that you have to get up three times to flip the record: the four sides of around 17 minutes would have perfectly fitted the CD format, but such is not the policy of Astral Industries: Ghost Lights is released as a double vinyl album and as a digital download. To enjoy Ghost Lights in one uninterrupted go, Astral Industries provides a download code with the 2×12″ release.