Astrobrite, Staring Problem, Carbonleak | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Astrobrite, Staring Problem, Carbonleak 

When: Tue., Dec. 30, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $8
The only way to describe Astrobrite without invoking My Bloody Valentine is probably to never have heard My Bloody Valentine. This Chicago noise-pop project, begun in 1993 as the four-track bedroom baby of Michigan expat Scott Cortez (also of Lovesliescrushing), attempts a modest, homemade answer to MBV’s famously lush and fussed-over aesthetic—dreamy, faraway vocal melodies, mellow metronomic rhythms, and of course an all-encompassing incandescent fog of processed guitar, streaked with tremolo-bar swoops. The 2012 collection All the Stars Will Fall, the most recent Astrobrite CD that’s not a reissue, unfocuses this sound into a swirling, oceanic drone, with minimal electronic percussion adding a subliminal throb and the only clear structure arising from the placement of barely audible vocal phrases. In comparison, this summer’s Glittered Exploder EP sounds almost like conventional rock music. Its fuzzy, pulsating riffs, relaxed but implacable beats, and sleepy, playful melodies won’t exactly raise your blood pressure—listening to these songs feels like slowly and painlessly dissolving—but they arrive in easily identifiable verses and choruses, with twisting braids of effervescent guitar noise soaring overhead, as detached as the weather. The Glittered Exploder tracks are demos for the upcoming Deluxer LP, much of which Cortez wrote with full-band performance in mind; his new live lineup, consisting of guitarist-singer Sophie Leigh Nagelberg and drummer Sarah Sterling (both from Videotape), will accompany him at this show, playing mostly Deluxer material. Chicago label BLVD Records, which in 2011 reissued Astrobrite’s debut album, Crush, plans to release Deluxer (as well as vinyl versions of All the Stars Will Fall and Pinkshinyultrablast, a collection of mostly mid-90s material that last came out on CD in 2005), but it hasn’t yet set a date. —Philip Montoro



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