[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Whatever expectations or conceptions you have about Out Out no longer apply. I’ve been a fan since his days on Axis records and even I could not have predicted what I’m hearing here. Another analogy would be of a script being completely re-written with the entire plot changed one hundred and eighty degrees; I had no idea he could sound like this, it was an impossibility to predict. No hints had been given, I didn’t even know he possessed the interest in making film music. ‘Asteroid 99’ is a game-changer in Miller’s world, if you don’t come away from this without being awed then… well never mind, it isn’t even possible to consider this eventuality.
These are some remarkably deep modular analog studies in composition. Once they’ve gotten inside your head then forget it, you won’t be able to remove them. Out Out are determined to take us places and these tracks do, in ways you just have to hear to believe. I’ve been listening since getting this four days ago and I can’t put it down. Every single mood and possible emotional variable has been cataloged on here. There are no words cluttering up the landscape, either, in this beautiful place of para-dimensional electronic design nothing stands between you and the music. I have to once again express my absolute admiration at his willingness to do this as he has a very dedicated fan base and most artists at this stage in their career would not dare to take such a risk.
To go down this avenue takes balls, people. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to go this far out on a limb unless you have the talent to pull it off. Oh the tales I could tell of others who kept it safe and recognizable but who has time for failures, this is about success. Unilateral and unconditional prowess over the machines. Out Out have never skimped on sound design and while there are no doubt some who will hear this and just shake their heads, many others who hadn’t heard him before are going to have this guy on their radar from now on. I’d like to think that wherever he may be, Edgar Froese is listening to this with a wide grin on his face. I’m fairly confident the rest of us are.
Looking to admire the question? Look elsewhere. There aren’t any guitars here and his sometimes antagonistic style of song writing is absent; the focus is on atmosphere. Tons of it. I’ll also add that he’s trying his hand at what sound like noise-based tracks which have been infected with a kind of dub driven groove. He’s quite gifted at it, never letting those pieces (which bookend ‘Asteroid 99’) drag on any longer than they should. The sheer epic scope of this album is without a parallel in the Out Out universe. Put out those lights and plug those headphones in. These are some long form excursions which chart the arena between your ears like a slowly unwinding spiral… each tendril of sound further along the trajectory hurls you further and further from the point of origin.
Is he out to make his own rip in the fabric of time and space? This is just so blindingly alien to anything he’s done before and I love it. Absolutely love it. Another long period of silence has been ended -he’s quite keen on disappearing for years- in a most satisfying manner. ‘Asteroid 99’ is a work which sinks it’s teeth into you like a Rottweiler which has unwittingly been loosed. These meditations on heavenly bodies do not play with the others in his catalog, I’ve tried playing them. His previous album ‘Assumed Outrivaling’ has been eclipsed, I didn’t think that was possible and yet why am I not surprised.
Out Out – Asteroid 99 Soundtrack and Other Experimental Works