Proving once and for all that the electronic music doesn’t have to be cold and inhuman, Daestro are the light packed purveyors of experimental pop that will have even the most hardened sceptic turned. Deastro is essentially 22 year old Detroit prodigy Randoph Chabot, who caused enough of a stir on eMusic with his demos to warrant a release of the best of them as last years Keepers. Now, while we can hear you groaning at the thought of another internet bedroom sensation, for this his sophomore release, he’s expanded his sound to record with a full band. Mining a rich vein of pop sensibilities this could possibly be the most organic sounding electronic record of the year.
From the first synth burst of “Biophellia” it’s impossible to not think of the Postal Service and it can only be a compliment for Deastro to be held in the same regard. The swirling “Parallelogram” with its multi-tracked vocals betrays the space that can be created in a sound from a real live band while the, dare I say catchy, “Vermillion Plaza” really shows off the soaring electronica that Chabot should in the not to distant future be famous for.
The use of a full band for this release is most felt on “The Shaded Forests”. A Reworked version from what originally appeared on “Keepers”, it’s pure synth-pop genius and exudes a warmth that clearly was impossible to gain from recording in a bedroom.
In amongst all this praise Chabot must also surely win 2009’s award of best song title for “Daniel Johnston Was Stabbed In The Heart With The Moondagger By The King Of Darkness And His Ghost Is Writing This Song As a Warning To All Of Us”. And it’s even as good as it sounds. The only downside to all this feel goodness is that when Deastro don’t quite pull it off, most notably on the instrumental “Pyramid Builders” its a big come down from the highs that make up the rest of this record.
Its the scope of ambition that surprises most here however. Never at any point does the experimental searching of these tunes wain, while at the same time having none of the awkwardness of an artist trying to find his feet again with each track. Taking the template of a myriad on influences has allowed Chabot to pick the most appropriate for each song and while influences can occasionally be signposted in neon its what he does with these the excites. Confident self assured electronica records don’t come along that often so when they do, like Moondagger, they should be cherished.