- The dusty crackles of his samples and the funk and soul rarities in his DJ sets prove Glenn Astro to be something of a crate-digger. His debut album, Throwback, sounds like an old tape you've found down the back of the sofa, one that's probably been there for nearly 20 years, from when bootlegged C90s full of jazzy blunted beats and small bits suspiciously ripped out of the inlay card were passed between friends like packets of skins.
Throwback harks back to the mid-'90s sounds of labels like Mo'Wax, Ninja Tune and Grand Central, who were in turn mining the old school vibe of hip-hop's supposed golden age, a seam Astro also gets stuck into here with Pete Rock-style interludes like "(Forgotten Intro) 4 My Peepz." It has the innocent and carefree feel of hanging around school with your mates. Indeed, Astro invites some of his pals around here, such as IMYRMIND and Max Graef, with whom Astro runs the Money $ex Records label and who released the similarly-minded Rivers Of The Red Planet on Tartelet last year.
The atmosphere of this album is definitely herbally-infused. The heavy-lidded "Still Shining" stumbles around like it's trying to find the fridge. "Got To Groove" sounds as stoned as it does sun-dappled. Astro originally started out making supple house, like 2013's "Feelin' Me," but when he goes 4/4 on tracks like the filter-friendly "Computerkiller," it sounds like the smokier moments on Etienne De Crecy's first Super Discount. Even the most energetic track—the aforementioned "Kilometer Disco"—shakes with squawking saxophone, as if it's getting a fit of the giggles.
But while someone like Jamie xx takes different sounds from the same era and interprets them into something new, Throwback is more a pastiche of Astro's inspirations. That can make it seem almost third-hand, given that his influences were largely trading in second-hand sounds in the first place. But if old school is as much a state of mind as an actual era, Throwback does a good job of taking you back to your own golden age—whenever that was.
01. Gonville feat. Max Graef
03. Throwback (Album Cut)
04. Shit Iz Real
05. (Forgotten Intro) 4 My Peeps
06. Bochum feat. IMYRMIND
07. You Can't Groove
08. To The Beat Interloot
09. Still Shining
10. Kilometer Disco feat. Max Graef
11 - Ødland
12. One For Viktor
13. Long Live Human (One for Sveta)
14. A Bit Warmer
15. Brother T (Greeting To Rasho)