CNV22 | 30.09.2005
... And Invariably The Blue
01. Blue on Blue
02. Paper Like Dust
03. Outside the Leaves
ALL FILES (Download)
The well known fact of the Inuits having access to more than 13 (or was it 30?) terms for 'snow' comes to mind on the apperception of this release. As the title already hints at, these tracks appear to represent a spectrum of blue both more wide and deep than ordinary english can communicate. A blue note resounding from the movement of the spheres, this is a buddhist blue - a deep-listening experience into melancholy; the sonic aura of the qualified nothingness at the essence of illumination. In space, no one can hear you cry.
liner notes by Mark Pauwen // photo by Liam Frankland
"The well-known fact of the Inuits having access to more than 13 (or was it 30?) terms for 'snow' comes to mind on the apperception of this release' - perhaps it's not so well-known fact, I think when reading the press text. Asher works and lives in Brooklyn, New York and had previously a release on 12K's net-label Term, which I didn't hear. His new MP3 release deals with the spectrum of 'blue', all it's various shapes, just like the 'snow' for the inuit. Three long tracks, which all sound a bit similar (I assume that's the 'blue' aspect of it) of deep bass tones and slowly altering field recordings. If microsound is a term you never of, then try this and you know what it is all about. It's a pretty good release of pretty nice mood music, but also a bit standard for what it is.
[ Frans de Waard ]
Asher composes music that's a kind of sonic equivalent to our colloquial understanding of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal, in that the more attention you pay to it, the more it changes. Whereas with most music, the louder you play it, the more it fills the room you're in, with Asher's music, as evidenced on two recent netlabel releases (at earlabs.org and con-v.org), the higher you turn the volume knob, the more the music seems to dissipate, as if by increasing the loudness you're tearing the music's fragile fabric to shreds.
Both releases consist of a trio of tracks, none shorter than 11 minutes, one closing in on 20. It's immersive music, but of the shallow-pool variety. Still, as our moms warned us, you can drown in an inch of water. And Invariably the Blue, the release on Con-v, could be a series of field recordings from abandoned industrial sites, where only the most essential activities are left running, and even then only at maintenance level. These aren't drones, in that they're inherently rhythmic, it's just that those rhythms are so microscopic and quasi-subaural that they take on a transparent quality.
Only as a matter of contrast do the three untitled compositions on Asher's Earlabs release come across as organic and varied, with more diversity packed into the 17-minute third track ("1/6/04") than into the nearly 40 minutes of And Invariably the Blue. Asher describes his process in an email to Jos Smolders, head of Earlabs, that serves as that release's liner notes: "there is a constant textured sound and then other sounds which come in and sort of rise out of the texture." Of course, the extent of these variations is purely relative. The sounds are of the sort (twitchy little noises, halos of synthesis, distant rumbling) that could easily be drowned out by a microwaving burrito or a neighbor's viewing of a sports event.
[ Marc . ]
“and invariably the blue” was my second listening experience with Asher’s works in sound. The first being two microsound explorations released on TERM [12K] and the latest being a CDR release of degraded cassette tape manipulations on netlabel CONV appropriately entitled “graceful degradation”. “and invariably the blue” offers three low end sonic explorations, having suggestive titles, that insist on careful, reflective listening. “blue on blue” and “paper like dust” have lowercase rumbling, drone-like structures with sad tones that rise and fall throughout and subtle grainy sounds. “outside the leaves” is a more minimal composition with an overriding scratchy texture and a dark, brooding rhythmic beat interrupted by brief interludes of brighter tonal sounds which give momentary relief to the persistent tension that is constantly present in this track. Asher is an sound artist that I will anxiously be waiting to hear more from.
[ Larry Johnson ]
A Brooklyn based sound artist, Asher is inexorably arriving to his artistic maturity; his second online release after "Two compositions" on Term/12k is a deep-digging three-part piece which takes this composer's minimal analysis of low-range electronica into a detailed relationship between sounds, the overall effect often resembling boiling water slowed down while dried by a giant sheet of sandpaper. The dark and glacial shadows of this impregnable elegy for the ostracism of sunlight have many common points with some of Thomas Köner's inscrutable soundscapes - think "Unerforschtes Gebiet" to get a vague picture - but the way the music moves reveals a disguised architecture which rubs its inspiration along artists like Richard Chartier, only with a little more organicism and less regular acyclic geometries. In the firmly rooted tree of good quality releases by this fine label, "...and invariably the blue" is yet another very juicy fruit.
[ Massimo Ricci ]
CON-V EDITION | 2015