Astro Chicken :: Double review

The sound of this Dusseldorf label brings to mind a variety of other imprints There’s a touch of Suction Records here, a bit of A.D.S.R., a twist of Radio Cosmos and a definite dollop of 8bit computer music. This is synth heavy space disco, addictive and clever.

'Chicken Accelerator'

This double review is a bit retrospective, but that happens from time to time. Over 2010 a new label emerged from Germany, Astro Chicken. Ok, the name is a bit silly but the sound of this imprint is pretty tasty; analogue heavy space disco. Think warm space synthesizers with a mirrorball edge and you’re getting somewhere. To date the label has two releases under its belt.

To open the Astro Chicken account is a Various Artitsts EP entitled Chicken Accelerator. This quirky title is a four-tracker, with label boss Sebastian Hübert aka Hyboid first up to bat with “Vogon Poetry.” Astral synth pop launches from the record. Waves of analogue are pricked with light beats to produce an 80’s computer music epic. Up next is Starlight Hammer Sounds and “Turrican 2.” This title may have some meaning to a few people; it was a pretty decent shoot-em-up platform game for the C64 and Amiga (I’ve wasted some of my youth playing it). Anyway, Turrican 2 had a lethal plinky soundtrack which has now been given new life on Astro Chicken. Can’t help smiling like an eejit hearing this, super kitsch and great fun. “Telebot” is a darker electro work that dawns into playful synthwork. Sternrekorder ends the EP unlike what has followed. Synth chords are still central, but vocals add a modern minimal pop twist.

Mr Astro Chicken, Hyboid, comes in next with a full length LP: Aliens Ate My Synthesizer. Warmth flushes through the speakers as “Madhouse in Space Pt.1” descends. “Multiple Personality Recorder” is a much quirkier affair. The synthlines are catchy with a fair smidgen of C64. There is an element of Bochum Welt and Skanfrom in these tracks, but with a Das Drehmoment disco tone as in “Dr Dabic’s Pain Amplifier.” Space is a theme running throughout, as in the invasion of “Attack of the Bloogs” to the lush celestial notes of “Orgontherapie.” “Rubber Cell Disco” has a touch of darkness to it, but the cheeky synthnotes keep away the potential for anything too sinister. The record comes to a close with “Madhouse in Space Pt.2” which brings the broad and deep chords of this nine track album to its landing pad.

The sound of this Dusseldorf label brings to mind a variety of other imprints There’s a touch of Suction Records here, a bit of A.D.S.R., a twist of Radio Cosmos and a definite dollop of 8bit computer music. This is synth heavy space disco, addictive and clever. There’s a reason this label got an honorable mention in our top releases of last year.

Both releases above are out now on Astro Chicken.


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