Published Jun 22, 2016The legendary Brian Eno, one of the pioneers of ambient music, once said "Aggressive music can only shock you once. Afterwards its impact declines. It's inevitable." It follows, then, that Asta Hiroki's debut EP of smooth, soulful electronica shows little to no signs of decline. If anything, listeners will inevitably be drawn further into the ethereal music of this Brighton-based producer the more they listen.
Asta is signed to Jalapeño Records, an indie UK label that operates in the "soul, funk and electronic niche." As such, Balance strikes a good mix of carefully calibrated trip-hop, ambient and downtempo. Asta weaves in orchestral instruments with ease, and complements his compositions with the use of everyday repurposed sounds and field recordings. To this end, the four-track EP achieves the kind of effortless organic composition often attributed to more seasoned vets like Bonobo and Four Tet.
Of course, Balance also benefits from the delicate, intermittent vocals of Australian songstress Kathrin deBoer, formerly of Belleruche fame. Her jazzy voice, flitting in and out of the syncopated drum beats and fading synths, adds a layer of class and sophistication to the EP. Standouts "Beatrice" and "Hold Tight" elevate the listener well above cloud nine.
A creative in every sense of the word, Asta is unafraid to explore various artforms (he doubles as a visual artist). Recently, he released a video for the EP's opening track, "Her Image in Focus." Working closely with a troupe of contemporary dancers and cutting-edge software, he brought his unique vision to life. The video is a clear example of Asta's artistic sensibilities and passion for the relationship between both visual and digital mediums.
The future shines bright for this Brighton-based artist. (Jalapeño Records)