It's hard to believe, but the [B]Pete Astor[/B] renaissance starts here.
If ever there was a forgotten figure in the history of rock’n’roll, it’s Pete Astor. Back in the ’80s, he was the mastermind behind The Weather Prophets – a band born out of the shambling C86 movement – who almost found success on the nascent Creation label with a rock’n’roll sensibility lacking in
their peers, bar Primal Scream. Since then, a succession of ill-fated solo projects led to him being missing, presumed retired. Astor, however, never turned his back on music, and in the last couple of years he’s re-emerged as the brains behind two separate solo projects – Ellis Island Sound and The Wisdom Of Harry. The former released one of the coolest records of last year, an eponymous six-track instrumental ten-inch on the Chicago-based All City London label, as well as remixing the Regular Fries among others.
The Wisdom Of Harry, meanwhile, have trod a similar path, sporadically releasing instrumental singles on a variety of different labels. Of which ‘Fragments Of Harris’ is just the latest instalment. Starkly modernist and underpinned by brittle beats and stabbed Hammond organ, it’s a world away from anything that The Weather Prophets ever hinted at. Instead, it blends various strands of European electronica into an icy psychedelic whole that is both ambitious and cinematic.
As a taster for the upcoming ‘Stars Of Super 8’ compilation album, which will collect all The Wisdom Of Harry singles to date, it’s unmissable. It’s hard to believe, but the Pete Astor renaissance starts here.