Ashinoa release new album ‘L’Orée’, stream it now
Lyon, France-based experimental band Ashinoa are today releasing their new album ‘L’Orée’ on Fuzz Club! At times percussive and dancey, at others hypnotic and cinematic, the largely synthesiser-driven soundscapes of 'L’Orée' feel both of the past and the future. It’s the sound of two different worlds – a record capable of being as primal and ritualistic as it is synthesised and digitally manipulated. You can stream the album in full below and pre-order the album on 180g clear vinyl in a gatefold sleeve here.
Where the band’s minimal Krautrock heard on their 2019 ‘Sinie Sinie’ LP might have brought to mind cold, dark post-industrial cities, ‘L’Orée’s kosmische experimentalism takes you instead on an instrumental journey through the natural wilderness via the medium of shape-shifting psychedelic electronics. That ‘L’Orée’ explores a more natural and organic sound than heard on their previous releases owes largely to the environment it was made in.
Recorded in a tucked-away house in the French countryside that bordered on a surrounding forest, Ashinoa recall sessions spent soaking up their surroundings with a number of collaborators coming in and out to perform on the record: “The house we recorded the album in was kind of in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by douglas pine trees. From this proximity to the forest, we wanted to take our soundscapes to a place we’ve never been before. Before we were surrounded by concrete, and then far from it. We were looking for a new listening place, to discover new intriguing sounds. We had laid down the basis of the album and then musician friends that would visit us at the time were invited to participate in the making of the album, each one of them bringing a touch of their own.”
Complete with syncopated percussion, hypnotic electronics and deep psychotropic grooves, it is on tracks like ‘Koalibi’ and ‘Disguided In Orbit’ where we hear Ashinoa at their most ritualistic and tribal: “Koalibi sounds like the jungle, with animals screaming and birds flying up in all directions. It’s a ritual movement. It’s dancing.” On ‘Disguised In Orbit’, they add: “This song feels like those beautiful night skies. You’re feeling tipsy, a bit high maybe, and the colours surrounding you aren’t really what they seem. Everything sparkles like crazy as if everything was disguised.”
Whilst largely an exercise in electronic soundscapes that bring to mind Cavern of Anti-Matter and Beak> by way of producers like Flying Lotus, DJ Shadow and Gaslamp Killer, ‘L’Orée’ is not without a handful of more guitar-focused tracks. The oscillating beat driving ‘Feu De Joie’ eventually unfolds into a riffing psych-rock wig out in such a way “that condenses the idea we had for the album as a whole: a change between universes.” Elsewhere, the meandering, downtempo Krautrock of ‘Fuel Of Sweet’ brings to mind the jazzy-kraut jams of Can at their best – all by way of modern, more world music attuned psychedelic contemporaries like Khruangbin, Kikagaku Moyo and The Heliocentrics.
A constantly moving piece of work, ‘L’Orée’ is an album that takes many unexpected detours. The ominous ‘Yzemnet’ is the heaviest cut on the record, bordering on industrial territory (“We wanted to explore the noisiest part of us. This one makes you feel like your past is catching up to you - an uncomfortable zone that we all like to be in sometimes.”). Whereas in stark contrast, the bustling album curveball ‘Selvatica’ has a light and upbeat, almost Ethio-jazz feel to it.
Then there is the choppy, distorted electronica of ‘Bade BaidebZs’ which is overlaid with a collage of manipulated sampled vocals that beam into the mix like lost transmissions from a distant future. Drawing influence from art history, they describe the track as their attempt to “depict the onomatopoeia present in Cubo-futurist art.” “It’s a movement that tries to deconstruct and renew its perspective”, they elaborate, whilst perfectly summarising their very own creative approach on the album in the same breath.