AMP

Astralmoonbeamprojections

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AllMusic Review by

Amp's second full album wears its shoegazing/blissout roots so firmly on its sleeve you could almost call it a joke -- never mind the album title when individual songs are called things like "Onehopesinuncertainty," "Lightdripglow," "Stellata" and "Celestialreturn." Then there's the cover art, washes of liquid that look like both light projections from San Francisco 1967 and Cocteau Twins posters from 1986. But is all this a problem? Based on the great end results, not in the least! Astralmoonbeamprojections is another great effort from the Amp collective, this time around more specifically credited as being the work of Richard and Karine, though the regular collaborators all make appearances as well from track to track. Though the basic modus operandi of Amp remains unchanged from Sirenes, there's a slight increase in sonic overload -- by no means are speakers being blown out, but there's a sense of power being held back, a crushing flow of feedback and reverb swelling and filling out the mix. Karine's vocals, which appear on nearly every track, are a touch more clear throughout, but clear and perfect apprehension of lyrics is never to be fully expected from Amp, and certainly doesn't happen here. The skittering, crisp electric rhythms that cropped up at the end of Sirenes don't resurface here, in favor of the buried or not-there-at-all percussion more familiar from releases like Perception. "Transmigration" deserves notice for its more "traditional" drone opening, with a series of rising and falling guitar lines with little of the massive echo apparent on other tracks until around the third minute (on the quirkier side, chirpy little synth notes flutter around the mix as well, a fun addition), while "Stellata" stands apart from the rest, with moody guitar jangles, snarls and drums backing Karine's singing.

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