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|11 July 2016||
Tetsumasa - ASA EP
2016 saw Berlin-based Japanese producer Tetsumasa launch his own vinyl imprint Saidan with a four-track EP titled ASA, showcasing his very unique approach to modern sound design, and at the same time, his first releases under his real name after his previous efforts (dub techno experiments) under the pseudonym Devecly Bitte.
Right from the start you can't help but be struck by the incredible balance the Nagoya City native is able to create in his audio sculptures: opener Nafco is laden with weighty sounds—a tight, hard kick and a subtle layer of wooden percussion dance elegantly together through a richly textured environment drenched in a gasping ambiance. The theme continues—this time, the distinctly dubby overtures on Brain are quelled by rumbling bass drums; Tetsumasa quite remarkably balances this brutal rhythmic onslaught with the lightest of cymbals and almost feathery snares while lifting the whole piece with ethereal, harmonic drones. Grim is certainly a more harsh offering wherein some of the more industrial elements are introduced—strikes of metal against metal, heavy apparatus crashing and clanging of chains bring to mind a busy steel works and foundry, characterized precisely by abrupt and quite harsh dynamic changes; in the second half of the track, the notable harmonics appear to sing (indeed they could be vocal treatments) with a monastic reference, helping to preserve the organic flow. Finally, Brain gets the remix treatment from Arboretum label founder Mogano, where he churns up the percussion, separating out more layers and quickening the pace considerably, whilst rearranging the landscape into his own, unique vision, soaking coarse, sandy textures in a wash of frothing synths that mimic ocean waves, gently lapping at a deserted shoreline.
ASA EP is a fine example of modern sound design, Tetsumasa seamlessly splices elements of dub, hip hop, techno, drone, and noise, while incorporating harder industrial sounds without ever threatening the desecration of his unique, organic muster.
Words by b.yond.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 11 July 2016
Release Format: Vinyl
Record Label • Catalog: Saidan • SAIDAN001