Thursday, 13 October 2011
Astro Al – The Purple Mushroom
Should we even ask the question of this outfit ... "which one is Al?" Nah, thought not! Their website biography posits it in a different way in any case. "Is Astro Al a band or a character in a series of sci-fi comedy stories? Imagine if William Shatner replaced Jim Morrison in The Doors..."
Well, Astro Al is Paul Angelosanto and Debbie Nash, the both of them providing vocals and a delivering a variety of electronic-based instrumentation, loops and samples. There have been live appearances with Nik Turner and with Spaceseed among others, multiple CD releases, appearances on compilations such as the My Outer Space series, and The Purple Mushroom is their latest recording, four tracks of science fiction short story narrations variously recited across soundscapes of drifting space rock and radiophonic effects with cellos and toy pianos ... you get the eclectic, eccentric picture – but there's a really good interview with Paul and Deb here that explains it all.
I'm unusually perplexed in so far as I'm not entirely sure just what I make of Astro Al; I've had a couple of their discs here for some time, planned a review and got lost in what I wanted to say about them and so that review, of their discs Naughty Kitty and Psychedelic Drive-in Music, didn't ever appear. The Purple Mushroom is, then, an opportunity to pull those recordings out as well and get under the skin of what Paul and Deb are doing.