Astor is the moniker of Mark Harwood, Australian publisher, event curator and sound artist who is now residing in London, United Kingdom. Under this guise he deploys a wide variety of techniques including field recording, musique concrete, electronics and spatialisation. All of these forms are approached with a sense of bypassing the cliches imbedded within in order to coerce a sound world which is simultaneously contemporary, foreign, beautiful, unsettling and engaging. He has released two critically acclaimed full length albums; Alcor and Inland on the highly regarded American record label Kye.
Inland came second in the outer limits category for records of the year in The Wire magazine’s 2014 summary. His third album will be released by Penultimate Press later this year. Mark also runs the unclassifiable label Penultimate Press which has published releases by Graham Lambkin, Etant Donnes, Henning Christiansen, Jacques Brodier, Księżyc, Matthew.P.Hopkins, etc.
In collaboration with EMS.
This summer John Chantler will release Still Light, Outside (“Tightly controlled, compositionally compacted” The WIRE) is an extended suite in four parts for pipe organ and electronics that combines passages of stark minimalism centred at the bodily invasive extremes of the organ’s register with striking explosions of colour; massed chords shot through with heavy distortion and electronics that operate according to their own dream logic. His concert for Audiorama will be a special multi-channel diffusion with additional live electronics of ‘The Long Shadow of Decline’ from this new recording.
Chantler’s three previous LPs were all released on ROOM40. Even Clean Hands Damage the Work (2014) included the first output from his time at EMS. It followed The Luminous Ground – released in 2011 and included in The WIRE magazine’s top releases of that year. The Luminous Ground was his first LP release focusing on the modular synthesizer system he first explored as part of the trio LP with Lawrence English and Tujiko Noriko – 2009′s U.
Originally from Australia he now lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
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