- Astral Plane Recordings has set itself apart with an emphasis on time and patience. Chants' four-track Amethyst Dust EP, for example, took nine months to finish. But even in the fast-paced world of internet-centric dance music, patience pays off. Astral Plane has emerged as one of the scene's leaders, home to well-rounded records from Wisconsin to Lausanne. In 2016, along with introducing producers like SHALT and LOFT, Astral Plane put out Chants' promising The Zookeeper, where thrashing rhythms met intricate sound design. On Amethyst Dust, the Madison, Wisconsin, producer hits the next level with his best work yet.
Amethyst Dust refines The Zookeeper's all-out onslaught. The emphasis on texture remains, but instead of surface noise and corroded steel, Amethyst Dust feels sleeker. Compare "Hellions" to last year's "The Zookeeper"—both have boisterous, Jersey-style rhythms, but the newer track is richer and more dynamic. Lead lines are beefed up with horn sounds that are bright and warm like glowing embers. "Irruption" is even more crushing, but the flailing and banging carries a melody, too. Chants shapes chaos into something almost catchy.
Things get even harder on the title track. It reverts to The Zookeeper's crumbling structures, and it feels like it's trying to destroy itself. "Amethyst Dust" is incredibly detailed and heavy, a bit like well-produced extreme metal. "Whole World Crumble" showcases Chants' odd rhythms in a calmer framework, where the listener has more room to breathe. Rooting through all the layers, it's easy to see why this multi-dimensional music took so long to finish.
03. Whole World Crumble
04. Amethyst Dust