Glenn Astro conquers new territories with Naturals, fusing elements of Balearic and leftfield house with tribal and acid sounds on Tartelet Records
In an impressively short amount of time, Glenn Astro has created a musical universe that’s entirely his. With full-length releases making waves on Ninja Tune and Apollo Rec, the sister label of R&S Recordings, the Berlin-based musician assembles a perfect pastiche of influences on his forthcoming EP Naturals, coming out on Copenhagen’s Tartelet Records this September.
Exploring the outer fringes of the Balearic sonic spectrum, Naturals delves into unexpected sound territories without losing touch with planet home. Sub-heavy drums mix with private oceanic field recordings, futuristic synth, and effect pedal workouts, delivering a four-track EP that is novel but honest to the bone.
“I tried not to take any direct influence from any particular music I was listening to,” Glenn Astro says. “Instead, I tried concentrating on where the instruments and effects were taking me, experimenting with different ways of using the gear that I know so well.”
Inspired by Sicily’s natural beauty, the juxtaposition of its rough landscapes and clear blue waters, Naturals takes listeners on a journey into unfamiliar sound; a conscious diversion from his usual style and yet an instant dance floor cracker infused with the artist’s signature panache.
“I made most of the record while being in Sicily,” he says. “In retrospect, it is easy to hear that the volcanic landscapes contrasting the idyllic beaches were a major influence.”
The EP opener “Naturals (Unsweetened Mix)” is a beautiful freak – a peak-time cut – starting out with tranquil ambient melodies and water drop percussion followed by a beasty acid line and slick drum programming. Next, “Naturals (Dance Mix)” slows it down to 116 BPM, taking a completely different route with a hypnotic dance between tribal and dub – a wonderfully weird closer.
On the flip side, “Slarutan (Pristine Mix)” emerges au natural with Sicilian field recordings, layered pads, playful melodies, and crisp drum programming. Saving the best for last, “Slarutan (Water Mix)” dips its toes into the early days of dance music, shifting into futuristic, ambient dub territory with divine melodies and filtered percussion.
“This one is for the plants and the trees. Return to planet Tartelet,” Glenn Astro says.