Astrobrite is the Chicago-based shoegaze noise-pop project from the musician Scott Cortez (of STAR and lovesliescrushing). For regular Strangeways Shoegaze Spotlight readers, this should sound somewhat familiar – last week in the Spotlight, Cortez’s project lovesliescrushing was covered. Cortez’s influence on the evolution of shoegaze, drone and dream pop is often criminally overlooked; both lovesliescrushing and Astrobrite deserve closer examination by any fans of these genres.
Astrobrite began in the summer of 1993 as a solo 4 track bedroom project by Cortez. In 1995 the band expanded in order to tour. Astrobrite is sometimes referred to as a supergroup, since at times (especially for the purposes of playing live shows) the band incorporates members of STAR (Scott Cortez), lovesliescrushing (Scott Cortez, Melissa Arpin-Duimstra), Mahogany (Andrew Prinz), Majesty Crush (Odell Nails), Dark Red, Paik (Rob Smith), Xebec (Doug Walker), Coaltar of the Deepers and others, as well.
Interestingly enough, Astrobrite solely played live and released no official records until 2001, all the while building a reputation as a band that “transcends shoegaze by destroying the fuzz/noise boundaries setup by previous shoegazing outfits and manages to make the most beautiful and melodic noise you’ll ever hear.” They played their “last” show in 1997 and then went on hiatus. Only then, in 2001, was Astrobrite’s first album, Crush, released via Clairerecords (later re-released in 2011 by BLVD Records). Cult gaze band Alison’s Halo (Adam Cooper) mastered and mixed Crush and 8 Candy EP.
In 2005, the LP Pinkshinyultrablast was released via Vinyl Junkie Recordings, solidifying Astrobrite’s underground reputation as expert noisemakers. So influential, in fact, that a more recent gaze outfit out of Russia named themselves after the record. Next came Whitenoise Superstar in 2007, which found Astrobrite pushing the boundaries of noise and pop even further. Whitenoise Superstar is generally considered to be Astrobrite’s most experimental record, as far as noise and drone are concerned, and the LP gained notoriety among the fans of these more fringe genres. This was later followed by One Hit Wonder (a collection of early unreleased tracks) in 2008.
Astrobrite was quiet until late 2011, when the much anticipated lost album of the band’s trademark fuzzed out drone from the 1994-1998 era, entitled Boombox Supernova, was released via bandcamp in November. This was followed shortly by the free download of a track called “Jingle Bells” in December 2011. Boombox Supernova gained Astrobrite even more fans while satiating the older fans’ need for new material.


astrobrite Discography Tracks


Astrobrite Crush (Album) Clairecords US 2001 Sell This Version
fern 012 Astrobrite Crush(CD, Album) Clairecords fern 012 US 2001 Sell This Version
IDCA-1008 astrobrite Super Crush(CD, Album) Music Mine Inc. IDCA-1008 Japan 2002 Sell This Version
Astrobrite Pinkshinyultrablast (Album) Vinyl Junkie Recordings US 2004 Sell This Version
Astrobrite Whitenoise Superstar (Album) Vinyl Junkie Recordings Japan 2007 Sell This Version
astrobrite Boombox Supernova (Album) Not On Label (astrobite Self-Released) US 2011
Astrobrite All The Stars Will Fall (Album) Vinyl Junkie Recordings US 2012 Sell This Version
astrobrite Deluxer (Album) Vinyl Junkie Recordings Japan 2015 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

none astrobrite Suckerpunch / Peach Fuzz(7", Tra) Alacrity none US 1996 Sell This Version
none Astrobrite Overdriver / Slowpoke(7", Cle) Highback Recordings none US 1996 Sell This Version
Astrobrite 8 Candy EP (EP) Sonic Syrup US 1997 Sell This Version
astrobrite Her Beautiful Skin (Single) Not On Label (astrobite Self-Released) US 2011
astrobrite Jingle Bells (Single) Not On Label (astrobite Self-Released) US 2011
none astrobrite Artificial Flavors / Naturally Sweetened(Cass, EP) Not On Label none US Unknown Sell This Version


Astrobrite One Hit Wonder (Comp) Vinyl Junkie Recordings Japan 2008 Sell This Version


astrobrite A Blasted Pink Not On Label (astrobite Self-Released) US 2014
astrobrite Suprema Demos Not On Label (astrobite Self-Released) US 2015
astrobrite Heaven Not On Label (astrobite Self-Released) US 2016