Asher – Instability – 4.1 DVD – leerraum [ ]

Asher’s name should now be becoming more familiar to those of us that pay repeat visits to the more prominent labels on the minimalist scene, as his works have been showcased on several labels, great and good. This would be his second foray for leerraum [ ], and is perhaps one of his more difficult works. Instability is a rough hewn, textural foray, shored up by the occasional sub bass, or tonal intervention, but in essence, this is a gristly fabric, that froths and foams like gently boiling tarmac, a shifting surface that appears consistent, yet is constantly in flux, with subtle gestures, movements and overtones.

Asher plays with this oblique textural field, interfacing the surface dynamics with raw organic elements, alternating the sounds that appear in the foreground of the overall mix. Later chapters see further reduction and distillation, spaces where silence and activity are given equal importance within the context of the pieces, and I would hesitantly guess that some subtractive equalisation has taken place, as some of the sequences are marked by absences, rather than presences. These ghostly agglomerations of non-activity, are displaced, and ethereal events that have become subjected to a process of gradual erasure, or subtle withdrawal, and what we experience are the surface impressions of what remains.

Instability sees Asher becoming a “quietist” in much the same way that many have attempted recently, reducing his sounds to the barest elemental parts, paring away anything that would appear intrusive or overblown. In the hands of a lesser artist, this form of quietism can sometimes become a little heavy handed, but Asher has the aesthetic deliberation and rigour that can capably handle nuance without making it sound contrived, or overworked. Not an easy listen by any means, but a serious and considered piece of audio art worthy of an inspired publisher such as leerraum [ ]. BGN



About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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