astor | The Tsunami Sessions

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Electronic: Experimental Pop: Delicate Moods: Type: Instrumental
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The Tsunami Sessions

by astor

Post electronic experimental cuts
Genre: Electronic: Experimental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Other Side of the Knot
2:25 $0.99
2. Mr. Burns
2:52 $0.99
3. First Effect
2:20 $0.99
4. Egyptian Avatar
3:09 $0.99
5. Circadian Rhythm
3:15 $0.99
6. Juxtapose
2:37 $0.99
7. Unravel Redux
3:16 $0.99
8. Interlude
1:14 $0.99
9. Slender Threads
3:22 $0.99
10. Verbatim
3:52 $0.99
11. The Caustic Lull
3:02 $0.99
12. Bliss?
3:09 $0.99
13. Rusty Knife
4:37 $0.99
14. Black Death
1:49 $0.99
15. Pen to Paper
4:15 $0.99
16. Untitled
1:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
astor has been featured on electronic radio shows thoughout the country, from WUNH to Chicago's WNUR and California's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" on KCRW. They have also had their tracks "Mr. Burns" and "the Other Side of the Knot" featured on The Keyboard Corner Volume 4. This inclusion culminated in astor being featured in the Unsigned Artist of the Month column in KEYBOARD MAGAZINE (June 2003).


Michele Doucet (aka 'astor') has been composing music for the past seven years covering the electronic spectrum from ambient to deep beats. "the tsunami sessions", astor's debut album, is a labor of love over three years in the making. Electronic and organic, nestled snuggly between chaos and order.
Allison Jane lent her engineering chops and stellar mac skills to this project, an integral contribution to the disc.

Below you'll find some "tsunami session" reviews. Be sure to visit our other website for updates, new songs & various propaganda.




to write a review

Andy Ratzen

Astor's debut, two years in the making, is the work of Rhode Island's Michele Doucet (music and production), and Alison Jane (occasional engineering. It's a burbling, off-kilter delight of subtle, oblique, little instrumentals. The shy but warped sense of humour recalls The Residents' instrumental work, but maybe there's a little bit of The Mothers of Invention in there too, and perhaps Polygon Window-era Richard James. Also, it could be that Doucet has some conservatorium training, such is the authority and complexity of some of the melodic and rhythmic progressions. The drums are a delight: like a cluster of pygmy percussionists, they dart in and out of the curious melodies, all miniscule bongos and fluttering rolls. Doucet is a master of the understated, semi-quantised groove. These playful, introspective and slightly tricky little tunes change their aspect when listened to at night, where they unexpectedly reveal a more serpentine, sensuous nature. Perhaps it's just the suggestive cover artwork, but I was put in mind of the colourful, cloudlike shapes of the Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine, but with sharp, modernist lines.


Herein lies a record of a lost society
Contained herein may be record of a lost society. Digital folksongs, sounds of industry, the bustle of everyday life that may have occured, or might still. The life thrum of pain, joy, love and bitter jealousy = an electronic primative future.
Listening in on this alternate exsistence is enjoyable on an ambient background level, as well as an attentative, eyes shut to the outside world, hands gripping headphones absorbsion session.


four out of five stars
Halflink records presents its debut release from Michele Doucet as Astor.
The album makes a worthwhile accompaniment to relaxing, working, eating, or slaving away on some mundane chore. It is none too challenging so it fits in well with whatever it is you're attempting to concentrate on. The album is two years in the making so it's nice that it sounds a bit older - like it was made in 1999 or 2000 (old in IDM years) - back when everything was still pleasant and not so grating and industrial.
The music on "The Tsunami Sessions" is light-hearted, fun, melodic electronics in the scope of IDM and in tune with the sound of such artists as Marumari and Lowfish. About halfway through the album the music picks up on 'Unravel Redux' with some heavier beats and light use of samples. Continuing, there is a rather nice and dark interlude clocking in at just under a minute and a half. From there it's on to arguably the album's most remarkable track 'Slender Threads' a short piece of dub influenced electronics fueled by lovely piano melodies. Throughout the album, heavy use of panning is involved so headphone listening is recommended to capture the full effect.
While this album does not cross any new terrain, it has some very appealing moments and it should be noted that IDM as a genre is no longer so shocking that it knows no boundries. Expect from this album a chill and overall pleasant listen. Be sure to tune in to the StaticBeats webcast to catch select tracks from this album in the playlist rotation.

Added: March 10th 2003

David Opdyke

In her astor persona, Michele a. doucet (with additional engineer Allison Jane)
Against thin starstream strings, the other side of the knot slips right into a space-jazz hybrid, replete with bleeping synthsounds and shuffling rhythms, followed by another peppily robotic groover, mr. burns. Sorta-xylophonic twangs and muffled voices slither over spookier first effect. Brief, blurting interlude (1:14) sputters with low fragments and whirls above on dizzying stringcycles.

The lovelysmooth pianos and chimes which dance across the caustic lull are backed by light synth-symphonic strands and delicate rhythms... more "lull" than "caustic"! The sub-bass impulses of bliss? are overridden by oddly riffling keys and e-bamboo clatter. Semi-noir-ish moods tickle the edges of rusty knife (4:37) when deep shifts and eerie pads are stirred with light-to-excited beats.

Computer-freakout black death is followed by smoother (though beat-driven) pen to paper which evokes brightly-colored otherworlds decorated in crisp piano arpeggios. Untitled sunsets with warm guitar-and-drone hues.
the tsunami sessions marks a fine debut from astor; Michele a. doucet's tuneful constructions are energetic and spend time in both musical and experimental modes. Here's looking to hearing more...