ASOK - A Mind Forever Voyaging 2LP (Creme LP-13) Limited Repress!
Some copies of this beauty back in, limited repress action!
Liverpool artist Stu Robinson aka ASOK steps up to Creme Organization with a debut full length offering, A Mind Forever Voyaging, due out spring 2016. Featuring ten tracks of macho yet melodic, tender yet tense analogue house and techno, it is a continuation of the fine work the Scenery Records boss has done for labels like M>O>S and Mistress in the last few years.
Something of a late starter, Robinson has fomented his own mystical, nostalgic, inventive analogue sound that makes you jack, as well as conjuring real emotions with his great knack for melody. This album was recorded live then edited down. “So if something doesn’t sound good it either stays in or I re-record the whole thing,” says Robinson, who used things like Maschine, tb303, analog RYTM, JX-8P, Microkorg, some plugins and “a shit load of old rave samples” to create his debut full length. All written at home over a period of a year or so, it proves the artist has plenty of ideas and more than enough skills to carry them off.
Things kick off with the blissfully ambient and horizontal ‘Loom’ before getting straight into the action with ‘The Killing Gameshow’ which has already proved big on dance floors when road tested. Featuring spangled, naughty sounding synths and spacious kicks, it’s a writhing and unpredictable beast that slowly but surely casts you under its spell. ‘Side Scrolling’ shows ASOK to be an inventive drum programmer and lover of off-time hits and bass spits, then ’Three Sisters’ “is the only ever fully composed piece of music I have managed to create, written for my three girls,” says the artist. It is a beautifully suspensory ode with tender keys raining down the face of heavenly chords and pixel thin synths. ‘Guardian Dragon’ is a much more militant cut with raw hits and frazzled synths, old school stabs and dehumanised vocals all coalescing in a wide open space.
The fine fusion of melodic beauty and drum based brutality continues through the experimental trip that is ‘Journey Through Fractal Mountain’ and the ghoulish, spitting ‘Visible Differences,’ while ‘1997’ is named after what was the finest year in drum & bass and features a synth line from Final Chapter boss Sean Dixon. Deep and atmospheric, dubby and filled with expert sound design and curious motifs, it makes way for more deep space ambiance in ‘Lost Patrol.’ Closer ’Utopia’ is one of the first tracks Robinson ever made, but you wouldn’t know it with its masterfully off-grid drums and synth smears, metal textures and absorbing sense of broken groove.
This is a coherent body of truly inventive work that plays with the rules and regulations as we know it. All unified by a sense of emotion and kinked dance floor groove that has been picked up over the course of 25 years of living and breathing many different forms of dance music, it is an accomplished debut.