BASTIAN VOID "Horicon Sketches" c32 (Digitalis)

This is the second release from Joe Bastardo's solo project Bastian Void. Joe is a member of the great group Gay Shapes and a fine graphic artist as well. I received his first tape, also on Digitalis, but somehow never got around to reviewing it. In some ways, I'm glad I waited til now to write something about his music, because it's grown in leaps and bounds over the last year. I enjoyed Ported, released earlier this year, but Horicon Sketches, pleases my ears even more. Joe manages to showcase the range of his talent across 11 distinct keyboard pieces that segue beautifully, like flying cars changing lanes on the skyhigh highway. Huge variations in rhythm, tone and texture occur from song to song, but the whole thing feels unified by the good vibrations bubbling up from beneath the synthesizers. That's not to say it doesn't get a little spooky from time to time; one segment that sounds like a digitized witchdoctor ceremony is especially effective. This tape covers a lot of ground in its 32 minutes: raygun meltdowns, zero-g dance parties, openings of heavenly gates, sci-fi police chases and vocal sample manipulation all have their place. Now pardon me while I go ride my condor through computer chip canyon.

More info and samples here.