Asch’s Mobius: A Poetic Movement

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In a world where electronic music is filled with mumble rappers, lazy trap beats, and uninventive DJs who just keep copying from each other, an indie band has risen from the ashes to save the day. Composed of Asch Catabona, Ben Ayes, Justin Ratilla and Luke Abadiano, electronic act Asch has released the freshest, most inventive album of the year so far that is also one of the most revitalizing things that have ever happened to the OPM-electronic genre.

The album takes pride in its finger-snapping tendencies and its unpredictability. While most pop music follow the 4/4 time signature, most of Mobius’ songs boast complicated music theory such as the quintuple meter, spontaneous improvisation, complex chord progressions, abrupt rhythmic changes, et cetera; such impeccable “jazziness” that isn’t present in most indie and mainstream media.

Ranging from its jazzy grooves to its soulful beats, Mobius ridicules musicians who do not really understand their craft and, at the same time, inspires true artistry in those who set the pursuit of creativity as their standard. High praise? Give their music a listen.

From the very beginning, the album has you hooked all the way to the end…literally. As the title and cover art suggest, the album is designed as if it were an infinite loop with each song fluidly and smoothly transitioning to the next. And if you decide to put the album on repeat, you will notice that even the last song effortlessly jumps right back to the first track.

I think that their decision to “loop” the album is a risky move because if an album is not as captivating no one will give it another listen. But behold, the band took their chances and successfully delivered this exciting tour de force.

 Asch has released the freshest, most inventive album of the year so far that is also one of the most revitalizing things that have ever happened to the OPM-electronic genre.

Though the band highlights the album’s holistic qualities, they do not totally overpower the individual uniqueness of each track. Nosedive opens the album with a bang and immediately immerses you in the funky electro-jazz characteristics of Mobius. The song is trickled with the sounds of splashing, flowing water and the chirping of birds thus setting the atmosphere of a tropical paradise.

The album continues to build upon the foundation established by its opening track as its narrative moves forward with songs such as jumpy Bloom, exhilarating Only Go To, soulful So it Seems, and satisfying Mobius. Speaking of, Cheenee Gonzalez’s cameo on the song So it Seems did not feel out-of-left-field. Her dreamy vocals and lyrics fit so perfectly with the album’s audial aesthetic – definitely a collaboration that was destined to be.

Asch Catabona is also a great rapper whose lyrics deliver substance without compromise. He raps about things such as creative exhaustion, apathetic musicians, his challenges as a songwriter, his growth as an artist, and how the seemingly unfamiliar could actually be familiar – deep waters that the generic mainstream songwriter would never dare tread. All these lyrical details are properly supported by the well-crafted, behind-the-scenes production and the band’s no-fun-and-games approach.

Through Mobius, Asch has shown that electronic music is not just your typical trashy dubstep or the trap producer’s lazy 808s. Mobius is a poetic movement that proves that the independent artist does have the ability to drive hearts and move feet. No doubt, Asch is one of the best indie acts in the Philippines…and, maybe, even the whole world.

?????(5/5)

Asch is a band that breaks barriers and Mobius is one sui generis piece of art that I will be listening to for a long, long time.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Asch is officially launching Mobius tomorrow Saturday, March 17 at the Zobel De Ayala Recital Hall in BGC. Listen to the tracks from the new album and enjoy performances by Bopek, Malana, and Hernandez Brothers. See the poster below for more details about the show!

 

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ABOUT THE REVIEWER: 

Yanan Melo is a Filipino writer, artist, musician, and producer. Hailing from Chicago, he continues to reach his audiences in the Philippines through social media and other means. He hopes to inspire others to use their gifts and talents, especially creatively, as to not put them to waste.
 
Melo has always been a music buff and is deeply in love with the Filipino indie music scene. This is why he chose to write for Indie Manila which is a community that he believes could make an impact locally and internationally through promoting the creative and artistic prowess of the Filipino.

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