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