Where the fuck do I begin with this? Man, this is some stuff right here.
Andrea Blake is ASPS, a Melbourne-based, doom-dance electro outfit with industrial leanings. Her new cassette release contains two songs, ‘Swarm’ and ‘Hearts’. One song gives me dark visions; the other gives me darker ones.
Visceral, brute force noise meets serene vocalisations. Each song is hypnotising in its own way – the pulse and crash are tamed somewhat by Andrea Blake’s voice, but the ever present undercurrent of harsh clatter is unnerving. I can imagine having a panic attack while seeing this live.
‘Swarm’ uses a skin crawling fly buzzing sample to tremendous effect – once the song hits its stride you are enveloped in the noise; swarmed, even. This is the harsher of the two in my opinion, but the beat adds propulsion.
You might think by my description that this music is rubbish, but it’s not. It’s intense, for sure, but the sonic textures at work are pretty damn cool. The interplay between the harsh and the smooth is addictive. It’s gloomy, but that doesn’t deter me. This music makes you face uncomfortable realities and makes you feel things – that’s what music should do. Listening to this is like taking those risks that make you feel alive afterward – it’s got a heartbeat somewhere in the clang and throb.