Asta Hiroki is an electronica/experimental hip hop producer and visual artist based in Brighton, UK. Having honed his craft working as a composer & audio specialist in the world of contemporary dance, video games and moving image installations his works are typically nuanced, textural and deep beats with an ethereal quality usually found in film soundtracks.
Drawing from jazz, electronica, post-Dilla hip hop, lo-fi and glitch music he builds layered compositions in his own brand of intelligent and modern, soulful electronica. Flitting between downtempo hip hop, ambient moments and glitchy compound-time signature beats it’s a widespan sound yet always constructed with the same attention to detail and jazz sensibilities. The independent label – Jalapeno Records noticed this unique blend of skills and immediately signed Asta’s debut ‘Balance’ EP of four original tracks including two featuring the hugely talented Australian songstress Kathrin deBoer (Belleruche, Max Cooper, Quantic).
‘Balance’ rose high in the US CMJ College charts and gained strong radio support from the likes of BBC Radio 3, Couleur3 and LA tastemaker station KCRW. It reached number 1 in the Juno Download Broken Beat/ Nu Jazz chart.
His next record- the double A-side: ‘Channels/Vulnerable’ was released mid-2017 with the label pressing it up on to 7” vinyl in addition to the digital release. The single saw him continue his jazzed out explorations joined by the inimitable vocalist/producer Suzi Analogue (Never Normal Records, Fresh Selects) Gaining support from both leftfield electronica and hip hop fans it was featured prominently in Spotify’s ‘Fresh Finds’ as well as over 10 other officially curated playlists on the platform, clearing over 600k streams in the process.
Following this up with several spins on BBC 6Music (Tom Ravenscroft, Huey Morgan), remix work for Ephemerals, Flevans and Tristan de Liege, and his DJ mix for the compilation – ‘Jalapeno Chill Vol. 3’ (featuring his exclusive track ‘D.O.T.T.S.’) reaching #1 in the Mixcloud charts. After a short break for other compositional projects he offered up the jazz fuelled – ‘Hiding Place (feat. Lylli)’ mid 2019 via Jalapeno Records which once again was supported by Spotify in their ‘State of Jazz’ playlist, Deezer (in multiple high profile playlists) and Gilles Peterson’s WWFM radio station.
His next single ‘Between Love and Happiness’ saw him team up with DC based vocalist – Muhsinah (Flying Lotus, Robert Glasper, Common) over dreamy and hazed out jazzy neo soul beats. Again doing damage on Spotify editorial playlists and receiving strong support on BBC 6Music with Don Letts in particular getting behind the tracks and including the b-side ‘Losing Touch’ on his ‘Best of 2019’ show.
In 2020 a single contribution to Future Archive’s FAR compilation series saw him rub shoulders with some giants of the downtempo scene including Arms and Sleepers, Sun Glitters, Yppah and Kognitif again picking up further 6Music support from Fun Loving Criminal -Huey Morgan.
Following this, after an extended period spent hibernating in the studio while the world as we know it changed significantly, electronic he emerges in 2021 with his eagerly anticipated debut album ‘Entropy’.
Spanning leftfield electronica, downtempo, contemporary jazz, and hip hop, and recorded across studios in UK, Colombia, USA, and Cyprus, it’s a glorious collection that sees the producer teaming up with some sizeable talents.
Across ten tracks he combines with a truly wonderful cast that features: Lalin (The Seshen, Tru Thoughts), Muhsinah (Robert Glasper, Flying Lotus, Common) Dontmesswithjuan, Tristan de Liège (Loci Records, Future Archive) and more.
In the artist’s own words:
“This album was made over a period of years where this ‘entropy’ theme became more prominent for me. Looking at the world and seeing climate crisis, the rise of fake news, the dominance of social media, a spread of populism politics, increases in wealth and quality of life disparity, a pandemic, etc, etc. It seemed to be visible everywhere and inescapable.
It’s easy to think the world presented to you is in a certain order as you grow up, but the entropy of the universe is always increasing, naturally slipping towards the unknown, and trying to stop it is pointless. I think there is sometimes beauty to be found in this shift – an unexpected element that brings joy.
These compositions were created with that in mind, and are bound together by the common theme, intending to occupy the both the side of the the order that we are comfortable with as well as traveling to the spaces beyond those boundaries.”
Asta Hiroki – Entropy is available via Jalapeno Records on digital formats and CD at all good stores.