Thursday, July 17, 2008

Astaron: Selftitled LP & Lance the Ensemble EP

Here are the only two vinyl releases from Vienna, Austria cult band Astaron. When I was in Vienna a few months ago, I found the LP for a couple euro. It looked interesting, but unfortunately the record store did not have a record player (or I didn't know how to ask in German if they had one... I forget) so I had to buy it and hope it was good. I had to wait 10 days before I would get home and listen to it, and the anticipation mounted each day. I bought almost 60 records in Austria, but this one above all others piqued my curiosity. It looked so ... promising; I would be disappointed if it was anything less than gloomy gothic perfection.
When I finally got situated at home, laid in bed, and heard the first crackles of the record give way to synths and organs and chants and hauntingly ethereal vocals, I knew that this would instantly become one of my all-time favorites. I've listened to it dozens of times now, and have not ceased to be entranced by its melancholy beauty. I loved it enough to order the EP, which I just received today and have decided to share with others.
The music ranges from dirgelike chants to ethereal darkwave to haunting ballads. The EP is a bit more cold/darkwave sounding, with danceable beats on all songs; the LP is all doom and gloom, especially from the song "In an Absence" on to the end. Elements of groups like Vyllies, Cocteau Twins, I'm So Hollow, Malaria, Kas Product, and early Danse Society can be heard throughout these releases. Many songs (especially on the EP) also remind me of stuff by more recent darkwave bands, especially The Vanishing and Autonervous.
As for this duo, it contains two girls, who are never named. I do know, through some research, that one of the members was Angie Morth, aka Angie Modepunk, one of the members of seminal minimal electronic/post punk band Viele Bunte Autos (whose entire catalog has been reissued on cd, and who can be heard on their myspace page:
Apparently Astaron also released at least one cassette, called Sarg Tape. If anyone can provide mp3s from this or anything else Astaron released, I would be forever happy. I simply cannot overstate how much I love the music this band produced.

Astaron: Selftitled LP
Ton Um Ton Records, 1987 (?)
Black Galley (2:58)
Finale - The Burning (3:38)
Little Girl Crying (2:16)
St. John's Fire (2:34)
As Time Joins In (4:13)
Torch-Light Procession (5:20)
In An Absence (4:57)
Sea-Blue Ladies (4:44)
Collecting Bones (5:14)
The Slurring (3:50)
Untitled (1:01)

(please note that the last two songs are saved as one song)

Astaron: Lance the Ensemble EP
Bugel Records, 1988
The Lance Ensemble (5:47)
The Icequeen (4:21)
Golden Carriage (5:27)
It (4:50)

Download both records here! - Link updated with NEW rips from mint records 1/16/12!


Anonymous said...

great, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff to check out. I've added a link to you from my blog. Cheers.

Fritz die Spinne said...

Sehr Geil!

The cassette is titled "Das Grauen aus dem All" released 1985.

Martina Aichhorn is the other meber.

No, I do not have the cassette.

GREAT stuff though--thanks so much for the share!

Fritz die Spinne said...

Actually, I hear quite a bit of a pre-cursor to "The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud" in the song "Collecting Bones"

I wonder.....

bunnyfly said...

OMG OMG. I'm listening to the LP right now. Thank you SO much. This is incredible. What a find!

goutroy said...

Glad you guys like it! I notice that the copy on the Ton Um Ton site is now gone...

Anonymous said...

This is great. Rare, strange, fun to listen to and above all: unique. What a great decade the 80s were, concentrating so much creativity.

Petr Zenkl said...

Oh, thank you a lot! They had a gig together with our band in Prague in the late 1980's, under Communism and therefore half-secretly. I had the LP but borrowed it to someone and did not get it back. No CDs are available of the band. Thanks for bringing the memories back!

Anonymous said...

Hi, the zshare links to both Astaron albums no longer work. I tested your 2 most recent entries (the Oct 21 and 22 ones) and those zshare links work and I was able to download from them. So I'm guessing the Astaron links are outdated? Anyways, can you please redo/renew the zshare links? I love to hear both Astaron albums and would really appreciate it....

Anonymous said...

Hi, the same situation: the zshare links don't work. Could you repost these? I'd pretty appreciate it too... Thanks

Anonymous said...

Repost it please! The bloody Zshare is out of order! THX!

Fritz die Spinne said...

I posted mirror links on my blog--been assaulted by folks who see I got your downloads months ago....

Anonymous said...

A wonderful blog.

Nice one!

ee™ said...

Hello, thanks for posting, i have been looking for the Astaron LP for some time. However, the link does not work, could you upload it again if it is not too much to ask?

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