Artist: Kostas Maskalides
Title: Genesis (Album)
Release Date: 28 April 2023

Presenting their first ever artist album, Astral Records welcomes Kostas Maskalides to the label with 'Genesis'. Hailing from Athens, Greece, Kostas emerged from his country's electronic music landscape in 2009. Noted for his dance floor minded productions, Kostas' craft shines through vividly, making each one of his creations an absorbing experience. Currently calling Belgium home, it was a 2014 debut on Sasha Carassi's Phobiq Records which foreshadowed what has been a near decade long creative swell. A string of well-received projects for 1605, Frequenza, Syncopate and Unity Records have yielded play and support from the underground's premiere tastemakers in Adam Beyer, Deadmau5 and more. Now, embarking on his second and much anticipated artist album, Kostas debuts on Astral Records with 'Genesis'.

Comprised of eleven distinctive and equally compelling creations, it is the charming cinematic qualities of 'Star Formation' which set the tone for the album. Instantly seductive, its character-rich textures, chanting motifs and melodic phrasing provide the perfect prelude to the album's first dancefloor piece 'Exoplanet'. Here Kostas flexes his free-thinking muscles, with evolving, emotional and hypnotizing structures building anticipation towards an array of Bodzin-inspired synth swagger. Continuing to diversify his portfolio with the title selection 'Genesis', Kostas delivers a concise dancefloor minded approach where nostalgic chord changes provide the backbone for wavy arps and goosebump inducing symphonic themes to work their magic.

Kostas' capacity for storytelling resonates across the album's fourth selection 'Last Call For Jupiter'. Shot in high-definition and full of colour and depth, it's a poignant voyage where the Greek artist explores a storyboard of astral stabs, emotive overlays and arpeggiated sequences. Meanwhile, on 'Red Moon', Kostas stretches his creative scope further with a tougher, more retro-inspired piece to shift the mood while remaining fluid within the confines of the release. Continuing to reaffirm his ability to tip a dancefloor over the edge is 'Antares', as Kostas plants multiple explosions of serotonin through fluttery synths, panoramic arps and grinding effects.

Moving forward, Kostas' avant-garde style raises the bar with the florid sounds of 'Pulsar'. Consciousness expanding at over eight minutes in length, its cerebral nature is enthralling, bound by themes that are both icy and electric. Evoking a dystopian style ecstasy, its brooding hypnotism perfectly sets up the trance inspired 'Timeless Voyage'. Its cinematic spirit is something Kostas relishes in, as he continues to survey his creative process through percolating arps, elastic-link hooks and a fiery peaktime inspired groove.

Beneath the powerful waves of 'Timeless Voyage' lies the prophetic realities of 'Gamma Rays', a slow-burning drawl where percussive rides and splashes of symphonic synths meet in a stirring canopy of sound. More enigmatic yet is 'Sunlight', building with a subdued pulse, its smoky resonance, wobbly grooves and wonky synths makes you think but also feel, conjuring up otherworldly visions across its quirky seven minute run time. Sure to be celebrated for his keen sense of astral aesthetics, Kostas places the final piece 'Aeons Way' in this eleven-track audio travelogue; as notes ring out into timeless suspension, with each sound being an event in a slowly expanding landscape, zooming out to reveal a world of scale in which depth and contrast coax perfectly with rhythm and melody.
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