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ASHER / UBEBOET - Cell Memory

Format: CD-R
Label & Cat.Number: Winds Measure Recordings wm09
Release Year: 2008
Note: nice letter-press cover, lim. 150
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €10.00

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"A sensation of distance and vastness is there through the entire 37 minutes; a diffuse emotional layer beneath it all works as the main basis for the entire release. Cell memory is composed by two pieces Alter (the other) and Nullus (neither). Alter, the first one, sounds intense and dynamic like an event of enormous magnitude happening somewhere far away; on the other hand Nullus sounds more like an aftermath, sounds desolated and empty. It' impossible to avoid a sensation of despair and loss when you listen to this final piece, it works as an absorbing force. You got these heavy distant drones rumbling far away, but you still got these sine tones charged with subtle and almost imperceptible emotions, giving to this release a very unique spatiality of grainy textures and monumental sources of sound. The most remarkable feature of this release is its capacity to describe a story, a series of events we can't describe or visualize, but we still can feel and experience. If there was a soundtrack to the death of a star, Cell memory would be it. That is the best way I can describe the experience I had while listening to this release." [David Velez]

"Having just listened to and then ultimately becoming addicted to their recent collaborative release of beautiful, pastoral Musique Concrte A Map of the Ocean [Bremsstrahlung Recordings], this newest joint effort between Asher and Ubeboet given the title Cell Memory and released on Ben Ownens excellent Winds Measure Recordings label, provides the listener with an equally rewarding listening experience but via a darker corridor of sound and carrying with it a noticeably more primal ambiance.
Following as it did in the foot steps of A Map of the Ocean, that first listening of Cell Memory came as a bit of sonic shock to my system. The warm, bucolic ambiance of the former is no where to be found on the latter. Cold, dark ambient soundscapes is not unknown territory to me, but this new collaboration treads deep into this territory - deeper than I had expected.
Cell Memory consists of two tracks: alter (the other) and nullus (neither) are of almost equal durations and have a cumulative length of just over thirty-seven minutes. Both works would appear to be based on field recordings which have been processed/manipulated into a potage of thick, churning, primordial drones. Youll notice similarities to Ubeboets drone style and Ashers earliest online works. Within just a few seconds of listening to alter (the other) it became clear that there are ties to something ancient here - maybe a connection to those basic genetic memories, fears, and other instincts that are forever embedded in the DNA of our cells for the purpose of making our chances of survival a little more likely. It doesnt take long for the scratchy, bristly introduction of alter (the other) to evolve into a densely layered, rumbling, shadowy drone. It could be compared to the best of what used to be referred to as isolationist ambient or, with those ghostly voices lamenting in the background, it could be the sonic accompaniment to a scene in a film whose setting is the abandoned, wind-swept ruins of ancient buildings. Likewise, nullus (neither) carries with it a similar musical aesthetic although it comes across as more opaque than its predecessor with an overall stormier atmosphere and contains some comparatively noisier and more abrasive moments including a few bursts of industrial-like machine noise.
Cell Memory is exciting collaboration between two prominent sound artists demonstrating their skill and versatility in manipulating sound so as to reflect whatever mood they deem as suitable for the immediate moment." [Larry Johnson / EARLabs]