Given that Astin is also a main shareholder in Tricorn & Queue and Xiphiidae (which just gliiiides off the tongue), it comes as little surprise that this album offers patiently crafted sounds of restraint and beauty. The album plays like a recipe in progress and it's definitely a dessert. Astin tends to be a good choice when attempting to convince someone that noise albums can be enjoyable. Although his palette certainly contains all manner of shades, they all share a signature way of unfolding in their arrangement and progression. All his sounds seem to convey the idea of discovery.
Albums tend to be about the past. There tends to be a "planting the flag" aspect, songs serving as signifiers that the artist made it out alive but not so on “Stray Dreams Zodiac.” This album is rather curious. Each song is reaching out with feelers on all sides. This is what antennae feel like. It could also be compared to browsing FM stations on a moon rover. Each track fades into the next, all times of day at once, like light being recorded on a reel-to-reel. It recalls slow moments when time is taken to stop and really peer at small objects. Brine shrimp swimming, red blood cells, seahorse fins.
There seem to be elements of science-fiction at work in the background of this album with actors far removed from the A-list giving occasional lines. It almost seems possible to turn the album into their stories, jumbled as the words are. It is especially nice that the voices have no sort of grounding effect to the atmosphere, they help the listener remain firmly planted in zero-gravity. Or maybe just upside down. 9/10 -- Chad Parsons (10 February, 2010)