Describing The Thing comes as a precursor to a forthcoming album (tentatively titled Emblems of Transmuting Heat) that was finished a few months prior to the conceptualization of this four track EP. While recent in its development, the music originates from the same period of transition, during which Shane Aspegren relocated from Hong Kong to Los Angeles. It is the first recorded music that Aspegren has released in some time, and the first solo music ever released under his own name.
Though he has an extensive history playing drums, synths, and electronics with indie and experimental music projects, in the past decade Aspegren has moved more into the territory of interdisciplinary art-making, in addition to taking a deep plunge into the healing properties and physical aspects of sound. These latter influences are largely present in this new recorded music: two of the four tracks from the EP (as well as part of the forthcoming album) are reshaped iterations from Aspegren’s installations or artworks. Certain tracks on the album integrate binaural beats (or other meditative experiments) and take their shape through a much more free-tempo and ambient-leaning journey. Describing The Thing on the other hand, also evokes some of these elements of trance-like induction, though here it’s more through steady BPMs and repetition— somehow feeling like a closer connection to his earlier project The Berg Sans Nipple (his duo with Lori Sean Berg, a current member of Zombie Zombie.) In this sense, Describing The Thing feels a little bit more direct than the forthcoming album, which is largely about subtle synthesis, drone, and texture.
In addition to his own bands — which include his duo The Berg Sans Nipple and the first trio formation of Blood Wine or Honey, a project he left in early 2019 — Aspegren has recorded, toured, or otherwise collaborated with a long list of artists including: Bright Eyes, Songs:Ohia, Lullaby for the Working Class, François Breut, Don Nino, Woodkid, DJ sniff, Arto Lindsay, Todd Fink, Preservation, Mike Ladd, Jerome Lorichon, Quentin Rollet, Nicolas Laureau, Dominique A., Kung Chi Shung, F.Lor, Ikue Mori, Ken Ueno, Nerve, Simeon Coxe, Samson Young, Tarek Atoui, and others.
TRACK BY TRACK:
This is a drastic edit/remix of a 20-minute composition originally made for a dance piece by choreographer Sudhee Liao (an excerpt of which can be found on the website Nowness.) Incidentally, it’s a perfect free-form opening companion to Describing The Thing.
Describing The Thing
Somewhat like Repatterning, Describing The Thing is a complete reworking of a different piece Aspegren started in 2022.
“I completely abandoned the original in its initial form — the raw vocalizations were the only thing that I wanted to keep when I went back to revisit those sessions. The voices were recorded as a form of cathartic release during a period of time that I was heavily exploring voice and frequency as a form of somatic connection and release. In the end, this morphed through several different iterations, and finally turned into this version more than a year later, after moving to LA.”
Keeping in the theme of transmutation, Imaginal Pathway is an audio excerpt and slight reworking of one of the “interludes” made for the Imaginal Pathways app for which Aspegren was the lead artist.
iTiS is the newest of the four tracks, completely originating in the summer of 2023 in Los Angeles.
“It started with a Moog Subharmonicon improvisation and turned into a slow build of layers and structure. Strangely, it feels like the oldest track to me… like I made it in another era of my life.”
Four tracks composed, played, recorded, & mixed by Shane Aspegren
Mastered by Antony Ryan at Red Red Paw
shaneaspegren.com / www.prohibitedrecords.com / mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
© & ℗ 2023 Shane Aspegren licensed to Prohibited Records