We’re very excited to share with you our first premiere from the much anticipated album from our friends at Asymmetry Symptom. Below you’ll find an exclusive premiere of CRCL the 4th track on their album, (released on February the 10th- pre order here) alongside a review from us.
The label, as contrasted with the album, is undoubtedly the most important basic unit of underground electronic music. The first release on an electronic label fills an incredibly important role as a statement of artistic intent. Orbis, the first EP on French label (and wider creative platform) Asymmetry Symptom, shows this artistic intent both dynamically and elegantly. The skeletal and menacing aesthetic maintained throughout the EP, in tandem with the visual art created in response to it by Canelle Le Gal (another member of the collective), creates a strong and well-rounded (excuse the pun) artistic intention not normally seen in a first release.
Discover Asymmetry Symptom’s Graphic Design Here
Opener SPHR bathes blunted electro (there is a large electro influence in the whole EP) in atmospheric pad washes while a rhythmic and glitchy high-pitched synth line winds around itself at the top. An insistent, pulsing one-note synth appears at different places in the bar, contributing to the off-kilter, lurching feel. This is compounded by the disorienting breakdown (another theme of the EP), and when the hollow drums come back in, more complex and syncopated, with the glitchy synth line translated into tubular bells, the effect is striking.
That one-note synth appears again at the start of CNTR, this time resting on a more techno framework. While still built from the same stark sounds, this one has a slightly different feel, the constantly changing timing of many elements giving it a lurching feel. DZAR’s drum use is effective and sparing, cutting them out at opportune moments to allow acidic synths to pop their heads up. Another tense (but not quite as disorienting) breakdown builds once again on the menacing aesthetic.
Another electro slow-burner, DMTR builds more hollow drum sounds around a circular synthetic bell melody, using reversed synths to great effect. Closer CRCL is the standout of the EP, interweaving synth sounds over a stumbling drum beat to create a lurching, disorienting feeling throughout the track, really drawing together the menace of the preceding 3.
Orbis obviously a preoccupation with curves and circularity. In an area of electronic music often defined by its piercing and acidic sounds, DZAR uses blunted and hollow sounds in interesting and exciting ways, creating a menacing and tense effect. The aesthetic extends into how he uses melody, with short circular melodies circling around themselves, and adding to the swirling, disorienting feel of the EP. What really makes this stand out for me, though, is the attention to detail in timing. Constantly changing the placing of vibrating and pulsing synths, as in CRCL, doesn’t allow the listener any chance to settle. Skeletal and menacing music like this can have a tendency to become monotonous, but it is subtle touches like this that keep this EP interesting and exciting.
Review by Henry Browning, find him on mixcloud here