Ventil Records returns with a split EP from Asfast and label co-founder Peter Kutin. The EP presents a dark face to the world, and is a reminder of the encroaching season: the long nights, the foreboding clouds. Tonally, the disc meshes well with the label’s prior releases; they are well on their way to developing a signature sound.
Asfast’s trio of tracks is best described as industrial. Dark bass tones (also reminiscent of grime) drop the music to the depths, while synthetic swirls attempt to excavate it to the surface. “cocooning” is particularly foreboding, more textured than melodic, an exercise in advancing doom. “Fracture/Separation” offers melodic lines without breaking forth into song, a pure reflection of its title, while “Mouth and Chance” is all anvil and fire. One expects the world to end at the end of these tracks, but it can’t end, because Kutin’s apocalypse is still to come.
Kutin surprised us earlier than year by shifting from electronics (as part of Dirac) to field recordings to deep, menacing tones. These continue to show forth on his side of the split. “how to inhale water” is slow, but with a trace of hypoxia. The single repeated beat comes across as a descent to the depths. When it disappears at the end of the track, it continues to make its presence known through echoes: the last aural images of a dying brain. “cmyk” is first slower, then faster, but continues to hold back the hope. This makes the club appropriate closer, “Quodlibet”, such a welcome shift; after all this darkness, it’s wonderful to see a little light, even if it’s only the light of a strobe. (Richard Allen)
Release date: early December