Marstropolis – By Rob Astor

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New instrumental concept album Marstropolis by Rob Astor is an ambitious double disc set.

Five years after recording his first album, Rob Astor returns with a new double CD Marstropolis. In his creative hands, you can expect music of quality and imagination. Every piece of the 39-track set delivers.

"Marstropolis began as concept music for a video game,” Rob reveals. “I was very inspired, like the Muses sprinkled magic gold dust over me. My creative floodgates burst.”

The time, August 2005. Rob began playing with musical ideas, quickly amassing tracks. “I never felt so good creating music as I did turning out 11 tracks five days,” Rob explains. A month later, Rob finished a total of 43.

“I knew I wanted to do a double CD,” Rob says. “It was instinct. Something guided me. I started with a list of 45 titles and tailor made music for 40. The album title, Marstropolis, was a proposed album track. The name sounded good and stuck.”

With recording complete, Rob was more than satisfied. "Marstropolis contains 2 hours and 35 minutes of music.” A daunting task for any musician. “I was charged, but took my time. In fact, some tracks took longer to arrange. A few had parts I wrote several times before I was happy.”

Marstropolis is a science fiction concept, a story told by the whole album. "Marstropolis is set on a future Mars. The red planet has huge cities, a thriving futuristic society. It’s a musical glimpse at a utopian civilization. I tried to create a place where you really would want to live in the future. I wrote stories to go with each track. Listeners can immerse themselves into a musical story, like a novel or movie. When I was done, I was amazed. On every level, I achieved my goals.”

Marstropolis is filled with broad flavorings. Some tracks have a video game feel. Others are true instrumentals. “Every day, I created a new favorite! I understand why musicians fall in love with their work. It’s like giving birth, metaphorically. Every title is a new child. If you asked me to name any favorites, I would come up with 20 titles.”

A two CD package was just enough space to hold all the musical flavorings. What you’ll find will stimulate your mind. Much like his first album, Quadrangular Oscillations, the titles are as imaginative as the music. There’s Dance tracks (“Galaxy Groove”, “Holographic Nightclub [Dance Of The Boytaurs]”), Techno Electronica (“Cyberflix”, “Video Man”), acoustic guitar textures (“Canopusopolis Carina”, “New Pompeii [Extended Version]”), instrumental ballads (“Falling Up”), New Age/Trance (“Tholos Restored”, “Ambient Wonder”), Neo-Classical (“Tragedy Of The Epsilon Queen”), Jazz Fusion (“Gemini Delta”, “Temple Of Red”), World Fusion (“Walking Winds”, “Pharaoh’s Garden”) and Rock & Roll (“Race To Northpoint Station”, “Trans Polaris”, “Rock & Red”).

“I don’t think I broke away from being a New Age musician. I broadened my horizons. The music on my first album wasn’t just New Age. Some is Dance and Electronica. There’s a lot of influences.” You can hear influences of artists Rob credits to his sound in his new work; big names like Tangerine Dream and James Horner; New Age and video game influences from Spencer Nilsen; and instrumental artists like Biosphere, Ken Davis, and Liquid Mind.

“On Marstropolis, I used many layers of instrumentation and tried out quirky musical ideas. There were a lot of piano and guitar parts I used to make mandolin, piano, and synthesizer layers. A really cool mandolin turned out to be lead electric sitar in ‘We Are All Optical Delusions’. Lead electric sitar. Talk about delusional! It was a lot of fun creating textures and layers. I was amazed with every new creation.”

From the very first track, “Red City Beat”, listeners find themselves on another world. There are a dozen standout tracks. Others are pure fun. Take a wild tumble with “Quasi-Satellites”, step into a musical dream with “Copernicus Museum”, rock out with the “Race To Northpoint Station”, dance with “Janet Jetson” (a tribute to Janet Jackson’s late 1980s and early 1990s music, complete with a break down), go scatter-brained with “Technical Dyslexia”, and cuddle up with your lover to enjoy an ethereal “Blue Sunset”.

Sessions finished, Rob Astor designed the cover art. He’s been busy setting up Internet sites to help promote his music. “I’m very proud of this project. I want the whole world to know about Marstropolis.”

Treat yourself to a musical vacation. Pick up a copy of Rob Astor’s Marstropolis on-line at iTunes,,,, Yahoo! Music, and Marstropolis is one musical investment worth making.


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Rob Rosenbrook

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