- As a blog and mix series, Astral Plane made its name by championing the fringes of club music, something equally evident in their label's discography. SHALT's debut EP, Acheron, from earlier this year was their first release, and now they're closing 2016 with his new one, Inertia.
While SHALT is working within a somewhat established sound, which will be familiar to fans of artists like M.E.S.H., he has a distinct take on it. He's got a good feel for the sweet spot where sci-fi sound design meets the club's driving rhythms—the warbling super saws and punchy, machine-tooled beats of "Wavering" are a good example. But there's also attention to detail, compositional movement and the requisite drama of this experimental scene, although SHALT tends toward the cinematic rather than the confrontational. Each track has an element of this, but it's probably the last one, "Still Primal," that's most vivid, with beatless passages that feel downright post-rock.
Inertia isn't all lazer synths and transmission interference. There's a layer of fuzz in "Ouroboric," "Inert Indifferent" and "Still Primal" that trades hi-def futurism for lumbering loops of dream logic. In the latter two, though, pummeling beats momentarily wake us up.
04. Inert Indifferent
05. Still Primal