Gainsville, Florida native Jeffrey Astin is adept at summoning ethereal ambient soundscapes under the moniker Xiphiidae and as one half of Tricorn & Queue, building stunning meditative zoned drones with sparkling shrowds of guitar loop delay. However, he recently turned his powers away from aspriations to the astral plane and towards a more grounded, beat-based sound. As DIGITAL NATIVES, Astin pulls out loop after loop from a deep bag of samples culled from the far reaches of funk, soul, jazz, pop and beyond. He then proceeds to treat them with massive doses of warped pitch, delay and distortion in order to strip them of extraneous affects. What come out are endless layers of lysergic-soaked grooves, sounding like a lost soundtrack to a bizarro 70’s exploitation flick. Bass lines limp languidly through clipped percussion and scratchy melodies that seem to whift through tropical jungles of sun-bleach psychedelia. The magic of Digital Native’s endless boogie lies in the process – the ‘songs’ arn’t meant to be heard separately, but as one seamless hour-long headtrip sounding so easy and flowing as to come off as a casually improvised DJ set instead of the intricately composed production it is. Cushioned by copious amounts of vinyl rips and fuzzy noise, Digital Natives leave you with a warm afterglow, as if you’d just heard a forgotten radio transmission extracted from the cosmic pop-culture ether, an homage to our imagined collective innocence, chopped and screwed to fit our warped contemporary consciousness.
Astin has released several tapes at Digital Natives on top quality experimental labels such as Space Slave Editions, Rotifer and Hooker Vision, as well as his own delectably curated Housecraft Records. Most of his tapes are in very short runs, so grab ’em while they’re fresh. And apparently the dude just has moved to California, so if you dig his vibe why don’t you throw him a few bones so he can keep doing his melted tape loop thing.