Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.
Asymptote – Belief System incl. Oscar Mulero remix – Suburban Avenue
By Nicholas Coombs
The Italian duo Asymptote’s latest EP on their label Suburban Avenue is a menacing and devastating record that cements their place as one of techno’s rising acts. Following the success of last year’s “Behind The Scene” EP, their latest effort “Belief System” is a mesmerising return to action comprising of three raucous tracks and a pulsating remix from none other than Oscar Mulero, a sure sign they are starting to get the attention they deserve.
The record begins in pulsating fashion, with the title track “Belief System” roaring out of the speakers without giving its audience a second to breathe. A rolling and increasingly menacing bass line dominates the atmosphere, intercut with frenetic out-of-control percussions and subtle sound effects. The track changes its approach as it nears completion, with airy synths lighting the path, in a fashion reminiscent of Joy Orbison’s 2013 ‘Big Room Tech House Dj Tool – TIP!’. When Mulero gets his hands on the track, the sense of foreboding is rife throughout. A subtle non-deconstructionist remix, he adds his signature touches to create a thumping rendition. A more minimal approach, the original bass line remains for the most part in the background, teasing and weaving its way throughout the track, with Mulero’s beat taking centre stage with frenzied tribal-like toms that dictate the tempo and the listener’s attention.
Asymptote describe their music as “retro-futuristic”, combining classic Detroit sounds with a darker more brooding approach that would find its home amongst the dungeons of Berlin. This is perfectly reflected on “Theory of Knowledge”. A reeling apocalyptic composition, it has hints of Paul Birken and Woody McBride, yet possesses the ferocity and aggression of modern-way day artists such as Ansome. It never unleashes it’s full fury, yet it’s always there under the current, waiting to jump out at any given moment. The EP ends with “Divided Lines”, a rumbling subterranean creature that would fit nicely on Mørbeck’s Code is Law label. Deceivingly subdued, it ends the EP on a cataclysmic note with a metamorphic synth that carries the track through numerous hallways of uncertainty.
Asymptote’s name comes from the mathematical concept of a straight line that continually approaches a given curve but does not meet it at any finite distance. When listening to their music, it’s an incredibly fitting title. Their music marches on continuously, with evident influences affecting it through it’s journey, yet never taking over their style. They wear these influences on their sleeves yet without behaving as a tribute act – instead they use the plethora of artists before them to compliment their unique sound and to ultimately, create a bold and seismic record.