Lit Harness is the first full-length solo release from Asher Levitas, after many appearances as part of Old Apparatus. This record has that hulking dark droning bass-music sound to it, like a sinister club buried deep underground and attacked by flares of distortion and whipcracks of digital noise. Heavy stuff, on Planet Mu.
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Houndstooth? Deep Medi? This Asher Levitas person is ticking all the boxes. At least, when they’re part of the Old Apparatus production group, who I have not heard at all.
So, as an introduction, good ol soundcloud offers the tag ‘ambient’, but when presented with 2nd track ‘In the Eyes’, I’m not sure ‘ambient’ is the word. Dark kicks and cavernous bass periodically and patiently jab at the speakers like a slow Vessel tune before some stuttering hats and clattering metal sounds enter and we’re in serious electronic murk right now. A ghostly choir arches over the whole thing like a hungry Dementor attempting to suck out your soul, but decides that it doesn’t taste very good so eats your cat’s instead. Jello will never be the same again. Over to ‘Strongest Bonds’ and it feels a lot more textural and steady now, with a pulsating, lightly distorted synth gliding across the sound field, and as the pulse grows, it becomes a rhythm that reminds me of the new Tim Hecker album in places. The pulse becomes a lazer gun shot from Star Wars Chronicle MMXIVIII, and a breathy vocal sneaks from the left ear to the right, then bubbling into a rather overwhelmingly angelic finish.
Unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for, but it seems like it has promise and production skills in buckets. Give it a try, Planet Mu have been great this last year.
8/10 Tony Y. 25th November 2016
Mainly know for his work with the experimental project, Old Apparatus; Asher Levitas releases here his first solo output, from a concept forumlated in 2015
Here he translates a variety of emotions into his music with consummate ease. Layers of pitch are staggered and and cemented together in varying degrees of darkness. As a result, this sits around the edges of Dark Ambient; the closest genre this can be affiliated. A good ear for harmony assists in the song structures resisting the temptation to become bogged down in turmoil.
Whilst not setting the world alight in the originality stakes, 'Lit Harness' does provide a sturdy and well composed selection of tracks that point to flashes of brilliance, given the space in which to appreciate them.
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