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ASC 'Loss' [CS]

ASC 'Loss' [CS]

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Black cassette with white imprinting, housed in a clear norelco box. Loaded with FerroMaster C456™ super ferric, ultra-high performance type-1 music grade analog tape. Shrinkwrapped. Limited to 50 units.

Written, produced, and mixed by James Clements
Mastered at Ambient Mountain House by James Bernard
Photography by Cynthia Bernard
Design and layout by zakè

© 2024 Past Inside the Present
℗ 2024 Past Inside the Present Publishing (BMI)
This is PITP37 | MMXXIV

Marketed and distributed by
Past Inside the Present
Glass Mastered at
Pressed by
Manufactured and assembled in Canada
Barcode: 197644783991
Barcode (Text): 1 9764478399 1

There is a wooden platform overlooking the marsh at the halfway point of this trail, just the same as it’s been for years. One innocuous autumn afternoon you lean against its railing for a photograph that your companion insists on capturing because of that perfect peach light in the distant cirrus. 4:23pm. The creaky waist-high beam gives way just a bit, loosened by seasonal damp, and you startle slightly but find your footing with a well-trained portrait smile. The image is forever catalogued behind the lens and you move on along the decaying birches, reminded that tomorrow is not a guarantee.

ASC (aka James Clements) brings us Loss in its most heart-rending and therapeutic form in his new LP for Past Inside the Present following decades of genre-fluid releases on Auxiliary, A Strangely Isolated Place and many others.

All through the cavernous chapters of Loss are heavy mists, quiet bird calls and softly ponderous chord progressions. Especially in the field recordings of “Tears in Rain” there are echoes of the old photographic experiment in which a swath of subjects is shown the same facial expression and asked, “What is this person feeling or experiencing?” An identical image can yield assessments ranging from dread to bliss, exhaustion to relief, joyous wonder to abject confusion. These profound pieces are similarly potent litmus tests of where the listener is in their emotional journey; they may be a sublime comfort on a sanguine morning, or a source of pure sonic sympathy in a complicated moment.

Few experiences except loss – especially the abrupt loss of a loved one – can so completely realign your internal map and compass. The plan was there; it was going so well; I did everything right. In sections of this collection like “Sensory Disintegration” and “Fleeting Elation”, with a bruised but forgiving heart, Clements boldly faces the void in order to create something where there is only a cruel nothing. There is no replacing a breath on the neck, or that diffuse, gowned shadow along the wall, but there remains the hope that these compositions will sing beyond the stratosphere like any cosmically bound radio signal, outlasting their maker and all fleeting reminiscences that carry on in pure, vaporous vibration.

Truly, words can only do so much. With Loss, as with his many other instrumental projects, ASC offers a distillation of immutable feeling: beauty wrenched from ache, acceptance demanded from doubt. The complex rhythms of many of his other records are left aside in favor of languid meditation. Even in its heavier moments it is an album that presents an undeniable degree of sensitive and resolute devotion; a priceless honorarium for moments dreamt but never to be.

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