Astralasia

Astralasia

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Originally started in 1990 as an Ambient-Dub side-project to the psychedelic pop/rock group Magic Mushroom Band, with members taking part in both groups. Astralasia soon began to explore the dancefloor space as well, and while the Magic Mushroom Band has been dormant since 1995, Astralasia is still active.
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Astralasia Discography

Albums

Astralasia Astralasia (Album) Fungus Records France 1990 Sell This Version
Astralasia The Politics Of Ecstasy (Album) Magick Eye Records UK 1992 Sell This Version
Astralasia Pitched Up At The Edge Of Reality (Album) Magick Eye Records UK 1993 Sell This Version
Astralasia Whatever Happened To Utopia? (Album, Single) Magick Eye Records UK 1994 Sell This Version
Astralasia Axis Mundi (Album) Magick Eye Records UK 1995 Sell This Version
Astralasia The Space Between (Album) Magick Eye Records UK 1996 Sell This Version
Astralasia The Seven Pointed Star (Album) Magick Eye Records UK 1996 Sell This Version
Astralasia White Bird (Album) Magick Eye Records UK 1998 Sell This Version
TRANR634CD, TSN 7634-2 Astralasia Something Somewhere(CD, Album) Transient Records, Transient Records TRANR634CD, TSN 7634-2 UK & US 2001 Sell This Version
Astralasia Away With The Fairies (Album) Talking Elephant Records UK 2006 Sell This Version
VP426CD Astralasia Cluster Of Waves(CD, Album) Voiceprint VP426CD UK 2007 Sell This Version
VP361CD Astralasia The Hawkwind Remixes(CD, Album) Voiceprint VP361CD UK 2007 Sell This Version
Astralasia A Coloured In Dream (Album) Tonefloat Netherlands 2010 Sell This Version
SPR 089 Astralasia Fantasia(CD) Shadowplay Release SPR 089 Russia 2010 Sell This Version
Astralasia Voyage Till Tomorrow (Album) Tonefloat Netherlands 2012 Sell This Version
Astralasia Wind On Water (Album) Fruits De Mer UK 2014 Sell This Version
TECD257 Astralasia Blue Spores (A Collection Of Early Recordings/Curios)(CD, Album) Talking Elephant Records TECD257 UK 2014 Sell This Version
Astralasia Tales From The People Who Are Astralasia (Album) Fungus Records, Fungus Records UK 2015 Sell This Version
crustacean74, crustacean74 CD Astralasia, Icarus Peel, The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies Astralasia, Icarus Peel, The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies - The Fruits De Mer Records Guide To The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy(7", EP, Smo + CDr, Album) Fruits De Mer, Fruits De Mer crustacean74, crustacean74 CD UK 2016 Sell This Version
Astralasia, The Use Of Ashes Astralasia, The Use Of Ashes - Astralashes (Album) Tonefloat Netherlands 2017 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Astralasia Vol. 1 (EP) Fungus Records UK 1990 Sell This Version
Astralasia The Rhythm Of Life / Celestial Ocean Magick Eye Records UK 1991 Sell This Version
Astralasia / Suns Of Arqa Astralasia / Suns Of Arqa - Sul-E-Stomp (Single) Magick Eye Records UK 1992 Sell This Version
Astralasia Utopia EP (EP) Magick Eye Records UK 1992 Sell This Version
Astralasia Realise Your Purpose (Single) Magick Eye Records UK 1992 Sell This Version

Reviews

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fabriknos

fabriknos

November 8, 2014
edited over 2 years ago
I can't believe after all these years of listening to Astralasia that I haven't left a review for this unique, eclectic, and influential electronic music group. Well I'm here to make amends for that oversight. Astralasia is, without a doubt, one of my all time favorite artists. Most of my friends and peers don't seem to get them, or why I like them so much. But it's not just a guilty pleasure. Astralasia hasn't necessarily made the best individual ambient, trance, or dub tracks in the world - but they are one of the best to mix these styles together in a convincing and completely unique way. There are only a handful of other artists that even begin to approach this kind of creativity between the genres: Gabriel Le Mar, Adham Shaikh, Eat Static and Banco de Gaia spring to mind. But Astralasia really is in a world all their own.

From their humble beginnings in the late 80s as an offshoot of psychedelic rock group The Magic Mushroom Band, Astralasia was initially influenced by the burgeoning UK acid house scene, and their early material is a reflection of this time period. They were also one of the first artists you could classify as "trance" with their faster and more hypnotic approach to the straightforward sounds of acid house. But it was on their second LP, Politics of Ecstasy, where they started to really find their niche - the world of psychedelic ambient dub. PoE still retained some of their original trance / rave sound from before, but you began to hear them embrace this new chill out sound. The third LP, Pitched Up At The Edge Of Reality, was the album that saw them rise to the top of this new sound and put their stamp on it, paving a way for many other artists to follow. Plenty of mid-90s ambient dub artists must have heard this sound coming out of the UK and found inspiration in it: I can easily imagine Loop Guru, A Positive Life, Higher Intelligence Agency and Banco de Gaia being very influenced by this stuff. Hard to say now who influenced who, but one can imagine :)

Astralasia only improved on their ambient dub brilliance with Whatever Happened To Utopia? Arguably their trademark release, some of their best ambient music can be found here and it hasn't aged in the slightest. But never one to stay with one sound too long, Astralasia switched gears on their next two albums, Axis Mundi and The Space Between, which were almost 100% trance. They started to become known as a trance group again, reaching a new audience thanks to the growing popularity of trance worldwide, as well as their new distribution deal with Hypnotic Records in the US. This visibility was only enhanced with the release of The Seven Pointed Star in 1996 - an amazing mixture of high energy goa trance and deep, spatial ambient.

Astralasia would continue forging ahead in this world, remixing a plethora of artists from all over the spectrum with high energy trance versions. Because of their association with Hypnotic (part of Cleopatra), they were tapped to provide remixes for numerous alternative and industrial artists on the labels, like Spahn Ranch, Gary Numan and Gene Loves Jezebel. Unfortunately, I think this activity gave them a reputation of being something of a generic trance act, while their own music was often overlooked. Astralasia's trance phase culminated in 2001's Something Somewhere, an epic trance album which to me is the weakest one to date, and finds them as far from their psychedelic roots as ever before.

Astralasia then took an extended break from music from around 2001-2006. A few remixes popped up here and there (including the surprising remix of Bob Marley's Put It On) but for the most part they went quiet. I think this hiatus allowed them to refresh and refocus, and it resulted in them making a return to their psychedelic rock roots while introducing some new downtempo vibes as well. Away With The Faeries and Cluster of Waves both feature a much more organic and rich production value, and quite a bit more live instrumentation than in the past. I imagine Swordfish was getting tired with purely electronic music production, and needed an acoustic influence again. Who can blame him? Almost 20 years of rocking out will do that to you :)

And that's basically where this brings us today (late 2014). Astralasia has gone all over the spectrum, pioneering the sounds of trance and ambient dub, and returning to what inspired them in the first place. While I personally am not a huge fan of psychedelic rock, I give Astralasia credit for exploring whatever they want, on their own terms, with zero mainstream intent. I am just happy to be able to join them on the ride and can't wait to see where they head next.

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