Asylum Seeker – Signature Strike (Retort Records)

Australian label Retort Records have brought out limited vinyl in their first four releases of unique electronica, including artists Merzbow, Nam Shub of Enki and Lodsb. They have also received airplay on ABC Radio National, a rare and interesting prospect for any electronic label.

Retort now present their first digital release for free download and deliver new food for thought.

Asylum Seeker is Lewis Smart of Nimbin, NSW. Lewis has been involved in the outdoor doof scene as a visual artist and designer for flyers and cover art for local labels and doof parties. He also has been producing drone electronica released on Soundcloud, which is an aural collection of dark organic and technological influences.

Signature Strike is a single half-hour track, and a journey over an ambient landscape of electronic drone and techno.

The start of it is comprised of reverberating Blade Runner-esque synths which create space and light. The synths then become tense and monosyllabic, turning the previously harmonic atmosphere into something more discordant and beat-driven, yet hypnotic and listenable.

The reverberation and monochromatic beats continue their hypnosis which various other interspersed reverberating percussive elements, which actually induced a trance-like state for me as a listener.

The beat-driven drone gradually dispersed into an ambience where silence provides the most sound, and a subtle white noise hiss is captured in the previous reverb loop, oscillating in a modular fashion with different layers of clacks and a deeper echoing drumming present behind it all.

This was a very engaging listen, and a lesson in the art of patient listening. A good debut, and there are rumoured to be more free half-hour single track digital releases from Retort Records.

Available for free download in any format on Bandcamp.



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