Ahab – Asnosmia: A Mini EP Review
Adam Jilek, who recently adopted the production alias of Ahab, hails from Dallas, Texas and is poised to become one of the most well respected names in glitch hop and dubstep production. While he was motivated to rock out early on with his six string, the nearly 20 year old has made a completely seamless transition to electronic music making; Ahab’s beats ooze with bass and his work is always marked with a musicality that borders on the obscene. Though he has finally started to receive recognition and support from well known artists, agencies, and labels, Ahab has been making tight, intelligent, and groovified tunes for more than a year. Now signed to MalLabel Music, the DJ and producer is set to release his first full length EP, Asnosmia; as this artist’s smooth yet uncompromisingly mean music reaches more ears than ever before, Ahab is virtually guaranteed to start blowing up in a major way.
Although “asnosmia” refers to one losing his sense of smell, this seven-track release is smelling like pure success and we’re more than pleased to offer up a little review for someone whose music has been blowing us away forever.
This EP opens up with both barrels by beginning with the title track “Asnosmia.” Holding steady at 95 bpm and dipped in gangsterific, crunchy, crunky bass, “Asnosmia” sets the bar high for the rest of the EP. With claps and lazers bouncing over an entirely dank beat and tons of atmospheric undertones, this track is entirely addictive, let alone catchy. With minor changes to his beat and melody the tune below only gets catchier as it jams on. To my ear, this is just about as close to a perfect balance of filthy and funky and you can get.
“Protons” is another piece of excellent beatsmithing on the part of Ahab. By progressively adding elements and gradually taking them away the artist achieves an apparently simple but overtly musical three minutes. Some chopped up vocal drops give a little extra flavor to this subatomic tune, but it is unquestioningly this music maker’s bright, rolling synth lines that get center stage. Dank, determined, and introspective, “Protons” is a professionally produced piece of bass music.
There is huge change of pace and attitude adjustment transitioning into Asnosmia‘s third track, “Azure.” Right off the bat reversed high hats, deep bass, and plucky leads capture the attention and promise a hell of a ride. While the intro is noteworthy on its own, it becomes quickly apparent that “Azure” is one of the most understated but well versed grooves in this short collection of head nodding, toe tapping tunes. After hitting the right spots early on, Ahab’s work once again seems only to improve as the track continues towards its end. Check out the dreamy, sunny bass bomber that is “Azure” below.
“Yeah Right” is something of an oddity and thus has to be a personal favorite. With a full two word phrase, this track is home to the most extensive vocal sampling to be found on this entire release; at the same time, this one is also home to some of Ahab’s most creative sounds to date. Not only does the artist subtlety swap between some blasting breaks and awesome amen, but this entire tune is a veritable musical mishmash. Dropped decibel 808 bass and a dubstep mentality manage to match up beautifully to a crunked glitch hop bpm and lazer riddled slice of future bass. Describing the replay value of “Yeah Right” as “high” wouldn’t quite do it justice as it quickly becomes a classic with every fresh listen.
The final original track from Ahab on Asnosmia is the sparkling “Exhale.” Sporting a typical dubstep tempo but styled with atypical sounds, “Exhale” is a well received change of pace. Though the bass may be dropped fittingly low, this slow, thoughtful tune is driven by a lazy but bright melody. By the title alone this track seems to suggest taking a fresh breath, but that may be easier said than done after giving a listen to the easily breathtaking “Exhale.”
Asnosmia is MalLabel’s 35th release and one of their most impressive drops thus far on their packed schedule for 2012. Further, this EP is proof positive that some of the best, most innovative bass music to be had comes from lesser known producers and that the extensive skill set Ahab has at his disposal means it is about time he begins to transition from lesser known to widely respected.
*Edit: Ahab forgot to tell us that the EP has been pushed back to June 26th so we’ll just re-up this post when the time is right and maybe even with some additional content*