While some producers take decades to find the right stride, Astronomar is one of the lucky few who has hit the ground running. With the release of his first tune “Got To Move On” emerging as the choice cut from Discobelle’s Turned On: Vol 2 compilation late last year, followed by the banging Back To The Beat EP on Mad Decent offshoot Jeffree’s in January, he landed on the scene virtually demanding our attention.
The tropical bounce of his electro bass EP led to play by the LOL Boys, Addison Groove and Worthy, and he’s pushed himself further with recent reworkings of diverse artists like Mustard Pimp and Longwalkshortdock.
“When someone asks you to remix their track, they’re really asking you to remix their idea. It’s an honour to get the chance to rework someone’s pride and joy,” says the soft-spoken Seattle-based producer.
Born 29 years ago in Juneau, Alaska, Astronomar’s history with music is intriguing. From performing in school choirs as a child to forgetting all he ever learned in band class, his personal taste swung from East Coast to West Coast (“I had one book full of Wu Tang CDs and one full of No Limit releases, shit was all over the place”) and back again.
“I worked for a record store for many years in Alaska, so I got into jazz and avant garde psychedelic rock, then turntablism once I started DJing; a more abstract type of music.” After high school, he won a scholarship to an audio engineering school. “I just wanted to wrap my head around how to make music on a computer, for myself, at my house… plus I never really spent much time out of the country. I was pretty eager to get outside, live life and explore a little bit.”
He’s made good on that degree with consistently tight production and a hyperactive concept of rhythm that’s caught the ear of two top BBC hosts. While he calls getting play by Annie Mac “definitely a nice thing to wake up to,” Astronomar saves the lion’s share of praise for the young blond don.
“It’s very rewarding to get support from your heroes… Diplo, it’s really cool to get that from him.”
With a series of California and Midwest US dates this month unofficially dubbed the ‘Alaska To Nebraska Tour’, followed by a single on the next Fool’s Gold Clubhouse compilation and a remix for Strictly Rhythm before the end of 2012, expect to hear a lot more from this enterprising producer.
Astronomar hits the Astoria in Vancouver on Saturday, October 20.
By Summer Swanson