A Zeitgeist-y convergence of genre vectors has been descried in ASC‘s recent work—a sense he ‘may well have just cracked the elusive code that binds techno and D&B’s mutually exclusive DNA’ (believe the boomkat hype!). James Clements continues his post-d’n’b project ‘s ambient techno morphosis following recent magnum opus, Imagine the Future (Samurai Red Seal), with The Farthest Reaches, prompting further hyperbole—‘[h]is ambient music reveals a gift for sonic world-building, where every track fosters an ecosystem of tiny sounds moving as one larger mass […] starting to bleed through to his drum & bass work, too […] he finally lets his beats slip into the abyss, folding together the two sides of his musical personality.’ (RA).
Bold claims indeed, though gratifyingly well substantiated here in a quartet of artful realizations of a hybridized template—somewhere between Autonomic, Silent Season, and Voices From The Lake. The UK producer, with other Auxiliary adepts (cf. Sam KDC, Synth Sense), has been toying around these fringes for over half a decade to variable effect, but here Clements’ soundtrack knack combines with the sheer narrative heft and topographic scale for a crucial cementing of the crossover deal. Tracks on The Farthest Reaches register around 130 bpm, yet create a kind of illusion of movement towards a rolling half-step neo-Schaffel kinesis. Think the dual-tempo in-between feel of Dubstep v. 1.0., and open the sonic architecture outwards and upwards. The tone is set with the hi-tech hydraulics of “Ceres,” building up through “Arc”‘s interstellar sweep—with nods to Vangelis‘s Blade Runner—on to “Suncycle”‘s vaporwave cyber-dub and the wide-screen texturalism “Exoplanet,” contours drilled down deep into a felt-rather-than-heard presence of lo-bass pressure pulse and atmo’ vastness.
Hitching iMAX production and cinemascopic sound design to harmonic movement and beat science, ASC makes of The Farthest Reaches an arresting [u/dys]topian sci-fi dream-state OST, deeply mining a rich vein of… let’s call it… ooh… hypertimbral cyber-ambient-techno-drone’n’bass.