Sep 2011 08

Access to Arasaka - Void();
Access to Arasaka
Category: Ambient
Album: void();
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: An exploratory album one could definitely play as accompaniment while reading Neuromancer


Having never before encountered the ambient sonic experimentation of Access to Arasaka, this writer had no idea what to expect from the producer’s second full-length release in as many years. Given that even the artist page on the Tympanik Audio website refers to AtA as “once elusive,” it is no wonder that previous efforts were rather hard to find. However, the time taken to perfect the sound seems well worth it. The artist himself appears to be highly technologically savvy, as evidenced from both his mastery of the music and his almost intimidating tech-based website. This comfort with the digital realm is explored in great detail on the very concept-driven void(); album.

This release is essentially a sonic journey to explore the realm of computer hacking through music. Not content to merely introduce some elements that might represent computers and the inherent vulnerability and delicacy of their systems, the album was inspired by the entirety of hacking – past, present, and future. Being so abstract in idea, the album does seem to hit the intended mark, for the aim was to represent what potentially a computer might experience while undergoing a system infiltration. The first track features a very slow build that climbs rhythmically to blend quite nicely into the next track. For the listener who is not familiar with some of the more laidback facets of electronic music, the songs may just come off as random computer generated noise set to a loose idea of a beat, but it is a very relaxing disc, and the songs do both signify something meaningful and flow well. Tracks such as “Array[0..8191]” and “Setvector” really do give the sensation of computerized programmed function in a calculated pattern, while “Term/echo” evokes imagery of being in a technorganic forest of raw data and the limitless potential that implies. By the time the listener reaches the twelfth track, “N->m_pkthdr.len,” there is already a sense of deliberate or malicious intent. The song itself feels almost reminiscent of Trent Reznor’s influence, with a much more intricate and complex beat. Flowing into the next song (the only one with any discernable lyrics), everything feels far more dysfunctional, which is ironic given the only lyrics state that there is “no loss of functionality whatsoever.” By the end, AtA incorporates an excellent use of panning to give the listener a very disorienting sensation that does seem to feel as though the infiltration process has been fully completed.

The whole album flows remarkably well together from track to track, but one downside to the seamless blending of the tracks on the album however is many of them do not feel very standalone. Often, without observing the track listing, it can be easy to miss where one song ended and the next one began. Combine this with almost wholly unpronounceable song titles, and it begins to feel as though the concept overwhelms the music itself. This also is noticeable on the AtA website where someone who might not be so technologically advanced would feel incredibly intimidated, and might not be able to navigate the site whatsoever. Limitations aside, the album as a whole is intriguing and coherent, and would certainly do well to accompany any relaxing foray into the land of cyberpunk.

Track list:

  1. *Strtok()
  2. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  3. Array[0..8191]
  4. Setvector
  5. Config.syn_seq
  6. &sin
  7. Term/echo
  8. Optlist:
  9. Syslog_ident
  10. [overwrite_ctr]
  11. Inc(tumbler)
  12. N->m_pkthdr.len
  13. Switch(pcap_datalink)
  14. Bpf_u_int32
  15. Sys.argv[1:]

Access to Arasaka Website
Access to Arasaka Myspace
Access to Arasaka Facebook
Tympanik Audio Website
Tympanik Audio MySpace
Tympanik Audio Facebook
Tympanik Audio Twitter

Purchase at…
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
CD Baby


Litho Fayne (Lilyth)

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