Recommended Buried Treasure Pt. 6-IV: Astrosoniq, Speeder People

It’s somehow fitting to end this Buried Treasure series on Dutch rockers Astrosoniq‘s discography with the album that was recommended in the first place. Not just because I’m a jackass who bought Soundgrenade when it should have been Speeder People and now I’m trying to make it seem like it’s all worked out anyway — because I know I most definitely am that jackass — but also for Speeder People‘s direct continuity with the latest Astrosoniq full-length, Quadrant (review here), which initially inspired me to check out the band’s other releases.

But although I’d say it’s worked out pretty well in the end, it was definitely a long road to get here. From Soundgrenade, back to the 2000 Son of A.P. Lady debut, jumping ahead to 2005’s Made in Oss, and interviewing drummer Marcel van de Vondervoort last month, it’s been an awful lot of Astrosoniq around these parts. The funny thing about it: the more I listen, the less I feel like I know. Don’t get me wrong, after listening to the entire full-length catalog multiple times over, I’d call myself familiar with the band’s work for sure, and a fan, but there’s still a lot to learn here.

Speeder People genre hops with unsettling ease. From the dark lounge and female guest vocals of “Lonely Woman” toward the 70-minute release’s midsection to the sci-fi samples spread throughout, the spaced-out feel of “Orbital Relay,” the swing in “Lipstick Traces,” the goofball country guitar of “Hot Chick” (which, unlike the preceding “Rocket Science,” isn’t actually about a hot chick), and the speed-metal-into-funk and winding tones of closer “Quadrant EL 6500/It’s Monster Surfin’ Time” that show up on Quadrant opener “Faustian Bargain,” there is at least one fuckload — maybe two fuckloads — of ideas to digest on Speeder People. I’ll definitely pass the recommendation on that came to me from reader Mathieu gave to me, but man, if you’re going to tackle this album, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Three track titles end in exclamation points — “Cold Hearted Guys, Like Us, Like it Loud!” “Godeater!” and “Red ‘Uns Go Fasta!” — which only adds to the charm, and in comparing Speeder People to the rest of the Astrosoniq catalog, I’d say it solidifies some of the weirdo elements of Made in Oss and sets up the refinement process that pays off on Quadrant, at once fitting well between the two and having no shortage of appeal on its own. The samples sprinkled throughout, varied as they are, do a lot to tie the songs together, though to be perfectly honest, by now I don’t blink twice when one track has a different sound than the next. That’s just what Astrosoniq does, and they’re ridiculously good at it.

And that, I suppose, is what I’ve learned more than anything else while exploring their catalog. Rampant experimentation? A seemingly endless creative drive offset by thick heavy rock grooves? Well, that’s just Astrosoniq being Astrosoniq. They did it on the first album, and they’ve only gotten better at it since. If you’re looking for a place to start, I’d say go with Quadrant, the latest album, and work your way back. Wherever you pick up the thread, though, what you should understand is that the brilliant turns you’re hearing didn’t happen overnight. They’ve been there all along. Keep that in mind and your adventure can only get better.

[Special thanks to Astrosoniq manager Bidi for sending me Speeder People. It was the perfect way to end this series.]

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One Response to “Recommended Buried Treasure Pt. 6-IV: Astrosoniq, Speeder People

  1. Maybe one funny thing to mention, every record except quadrant has got a mistake in the titels, on a.p.lady pegasus should be before earthquake, dont remember exactly what we messed up on sound grenade, but you spotted the mistake on made in oss and indeed the titels of hot chick and rocket science got mixed up…

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