Debut Album ‘Entropy’ out now!

Buy / Stream on other platforms: https://astahiroki.lnk.to/Entropy

Electronic producer and visual artist Asta Hiroki has steadily built a name for himself in recent times via a clutch of high-quality singles, remixes and an EP. 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.

This expansive record is beautifully arranged, with a fine balance between live strings and drums, muscular bass sounds, colourful Fender Rhodes chords, delicate organic textures and intricate sound design. There are knowing nods throughout to the LA beat scene, the Bristol sound, and London’s nu jazz upstarts, yet it maintains it’s own unique style and aesthetic away from them.

Highlights include the lumbering-yet-nuanced Flying Lotus-esque opener ‘Dahlias’, the dynamic and virtuousic live drum playing of percussionist Robbie Hookins on contemporary jazztronica cut ‘Cherry Blossom’, Dontmesswithjuan’s dreamy, drifting vocals on ‘Slumber’, and Lalin’s heart wrenching, shivers-up-the-spine vocal performance on ‘Left Behind’.

Crafted as a highly conceptual project – many tracks incorporate the albums theme in the music literally, illustrated by real humanistic playing and improvisation being preferred over quantised, or copy and pasted audio clips that give a ‘perfect’ performance.

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 order that we are comfortable with as well as traveling to the spaces beyond those boundaries.”

Programming, Piano, Synths, Guitars, Bass, Drum Machines: Asta Hiroki
Drums and Percussion on ‘Cherry Blossom’, ‘Entropy’, ‘These Hands (pt.2)’: Robbie Hookins
Cello on ‘Apparition’ and ‘Left Behind’ – Bela Emerson
Vocals on ‘Left Behind’: Lalin St. Juste
Vocals on ‘Between Love and Happiness’: Muhsinah
Vocals on ‘Slumber’: Dontmesswithjuan
Harp on ‘Entropy’: Alexandra King
Saxophone on ‘These Hands (pt.2)’: Tristan de Liege 

New single ‘Left Behind (feat. Lalin St. Juste)’ out now via Jalapeno Records

Electronic producer and visual artist Asta Hiroki unites with the extraordinarily talented vocalist and lyricist- Lalin St. Juste (aka the voice and bandleader of the Bay Area electronic seven-piece The Seshen) in the second single taken from his debut album, the sublime track ‘Left Behind’.

Having created a sparse arrangement with a theme of loss that was an intriguing downtempo fusion of piano ballad, IDM, sound design, and live orchestral string elements, there was only one person he wanted to collaborate with to help the track reach its full potential.

Counting himself a fan of The Seshen’s explorations into Electronica, Pop, and Dance since their first album ‘Flames and Figures’ (Tru Thoughts), he reached out across international waters to Lalin who immediately got on board with the sonic vision and laid her intimate and achingly beautiful vocal arrangements down.

Drawing from her current personal experiences along the same theme, the resulting piece became a beautifully cathartic and naturally emotive process to create the moving composition, which ultimately laid the foundation for further work between them…

Between them these two artists have gained a huge range of support the last few years including the likes of Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, Don Letts, Huey Morgan (BBC 6Music), KCRW, Radio X, Jazz FM, Bandcamp, The Arts Desk, Dummy Mag, EARMILK to mention a few.

And with them producing a must-listen track like this one it’s very hard to imagine that list won’t grow even further still.


Vocals: Lalin St. Juste
Piano, Synths, Drum Machine: Asta Hiroki
Cello: Bela Emerson 

New Single ‘Slumber feat. Dontmesswithjuan’ out now via Jalapeno Records

After an extended period spent hibernating in the studio while the world as we know it changed significantly, electronic producer and visual artist Asta Hiroki emerges in 2021 with the first single to be taken from his eagerly anticipated forthcoming debut album. And it’s a typically luscious track of downtempo nourishment that goes by the name of ‘Slumber’.   

Lo-fi aesthetics combine with leftfield electronica are laid down to form a beautiful bedrock, as the Colombia-based, Montreal-native producer and vocalist: Dontmesswithjuan contributes to an appropriately dreamy vocal performance for this sleepy title. She further enhances her already growing reputation on a track that captures the mind with it’s soulful, heavy-eyed hypnotism.

Her vivid lyricism mixes the everyday and the surreal with overarching themes of stopping and stepping back for reflection, looking to find joy and beauty in simple moments, and not just sleepwalking through modern life scenarios and situations.  

Listen here: https://AstaHiroki.lnk.to/Slumber

New track out on ‘FAR 2’ compilation by Future Arhive Recordings

‘You & Me’ is the latest release via Czech based label Future Archive Recordings. The imprint is home to the likes of Arms and Sleepers, il:lo, Yppah, Sun Glitters, Natasha Kmeto and more.

It’s a lofi abstract hip hop track with Portishead and Knxwledge vibes. You can find it alongside the aforementioned artists on the compilation ‘FAR 2’.

Listen below…

FUTURE ARCHIVE, VOL. 2 by Asta Hiroki

Interview with Tyler Evin, creator of the ‘Hiding Place’ artwork

Tyler Evin’s stunning artwork – ‘Delete’ was used as the ‘Hiding Place’ single artwork. He took some time out to answer some questions about his work and creative process.
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Your work frequently fuses sensual, human subjects with glitch aesthetics, but in contrast to most artists experimenting with glitch art you aren’t working with digital media – how did you develop this unique style?  
I have always been a traditionalist when it comes to visual art. So when I found myself inspired by glitches and technology, I gravitated towards using the materials I was familiar with-drawing (charcoal, graphite), and painting (oil paint). It’s not to say that I don’t experiment and try to branch out, but there’s a certain aesthetic to the traditional forms of art making-as well my comfort level with rendering an image. I love the physical quality of painting, and creating this art form digitally doesn’t quite bring me the satisfaction I’m looking for. There is also an interesting dichotomy at play with representing this digital theme in a traditional/physical manner that I enjoy a lot.
What are your ‘go to’ tools for creating a piece?
It all starts with the initial inspiration for a piece. To create the reference for me to work from, I use Photoshop or a similar image editing program. I work with various color combinations and play around with the distortion of the image until it feels like it tells the story I want. I am not tied down to representing the reference exactly as it is of course, but instead it gives me a general guide and direction for where I am going. For surfaces I like to paint on, usually either canvas or a panel or some sort. In terms of the paint and tools, I use oil paint exclusively, usually Rembrandt or Winsor & Newton. Rosemary and Co. brushes, and various paint rollers to create some interesting and unique textures is all I need.
Are there any artists in particular that have influenced you?
I have came across and met several artists over the years that have influenced me in some way or another. A few that come to mind are my painting professor in college: Zhimin Guan, a Chinese master. Tons of contemporary painters: Casey Baugh, Henrik Uldalen, the list goes on. Several photographers as well, including my friend who I collaborate with a lot: Albin Siggesson, from Norway. Ironically enough, when it came to my glitch series, I more often sought out the work of traditional painters and artists, instead of digital artists and how I could merge the two. I have a strong appreciation and love for the work of digital artists though. That is a skill that I have not ventured into yet.
 
You are based in Fargo ND, do you find that your surroundings affect your art?
I don’t believe that my surroundings heavily affect the aesthetics of my work. In terms of inspiration for my work, I find myself rarely seeking out the landscape of North Dakota. Instead, I draw inspiration from the people around me. I love playing with subtle psychological themes in my work. You could make an argument that my surroundings have affected my work in that sense, but the visual aspect remains about abstract and figurative elements. At times, the desolate nature of ND comes in to play with themes I am exploring.
 
If you could only keep one of your artworks which one would it be and why?
To be honest, I wouldn’t keep any. Now that sounds like I don’t have a love for what I do, or the work I create, but it’s actually the complete opposite! I love what I do so much that I want the work I create to be loved and appreciated by somebody else too. I hope the owner of my work feels the story I am telling and connects to it in that way. There is no better feeling than that. I have created lots of paintings over the years, and each of them has a story and is unique to me. Sometimes having that story and memory is the only thing I need.
Your work ‘Delete’ has recently been used as the front cover for Asta Hiroki’s single ‘Hiding Place’ – do you frequently collaborate with other artists/musicians?
I absolutely love collaborating with other artists! I used to run a little contest for portraits on my Instagram with my followers for a couple years, where I got to collaborate with some awesome people. I have worked with my photographer friend from Norway, Albin Siggesson on several pieces. His work is amazing. Instagram has opened up so many opportunities for collaborating with creative people. I hope to work with many more in the future, visual artists and musicians! I have been very grateful for this opportunity to work with Alex. I find his music incredibly inspiring.
How did you create ‘Delete’ and do you have any further insights into the inspiration behind the piece?
As I mentioned previously, I collaborate with photographer Albin Siggesson many times. I worked with him on using one of his images as a point of reference for me. The story I wanted to tell was the absence and hole that technology/social media can create in an individual’s life. Through the manipulation process, I decided to leave out details and focus on the essence of the figure-leaving just the ghost-like shape. I opted for a neutral, monochromatic color palette for the painting to represent the bleakness and isolation associated with loss of human connection with technology. The title: “Delete” is signifying a disconnect and removal of the human aspect in favor of the digital one.
Lastly if you had one bit of advice for everyone what would it be?
I probably only have your typical advice you hear from everybody, but it seems to work for me! Don’t be afraid of failure or trying something new with your work as an artist. It will always lead to better creations in the end, and you will learn and grow from it. In the end, it’s about the work and practice you put in. Be constantly working and perfecting your craft every single day. Good things will come.

New Asta Hiroki Remix out now

A new Asta Hiroki Remix for Tristan de Liege – Mbali (feat. Selina Carrera) is out now via the manchester based electronic label – first light.

Utilising the glorious strings and lush textures of the original the remix turns it into a leftfield hip hop beat which mutates into glitch inspired downtempo IDM.

Premiered online by the wonderful Stereofox blog and now available on all reputable stores and platforms.

You can listen to it on Spotify here:

 

Asta Hiroki AV set for Rook Radio

Recently Rook Records requested a video DJ mix for their new YouTube channel and I saw it as an opportunity to test out some AV ideas I’ve been working on.

The visuals were made using a combination of video footage run through my own custom coded Cycling ’74 MAX/MSP patches, Tachyons + analogue hardware, and an old CRT TV.

The music tracks span electronica, hip hop and glitch, combining newer discoveries alongside more well known artists. Some highlights imo are: my new remix for Tristan de Liège, and awesome tunes from Shrimpnose, K.Raydio, Kenny Segal and s.maharba

Hope you like it!