Shidarun Asaka and CharlotteFromParis – First Times EP

Published on Pumped Audio 18/2/2013:
http://www.pumpedaudio.com/reviews/shidarun-asaka-charlotte-from-paris-first-times-ep-once-unlimited/

Shidarun Asaka and CharlotteFromParis - First Times EP

A woman, with long hair as black as ebony, looks away as she stands in front of the street signs of France. While following her eyes to the right of the waves on her SoundCloud page, one sees a variety of genre labels: House, Techno, Electro. The woman, named Shidarun Asaka, has dipped her feet in multiple genre pools. Recently, Asaka introduced a series of Tech House collaborations with a newcomer called CharlotteFromParis, which will be released on the Once Unlimited label on the 4th of April 2013.

Amidst the electronic sounds of ‘Disturbed Sky’, one hears a ring of nature. The screeching sounds can be quite similar to the sounds that crickets make with their legs at night. The sound of dripping water begins to sound like it’s hitting a plastic bucket. What is natural and what is virtual are sculpted into a harmonious dichotomy, which reflects the human ability to learn and take inspiration from nature. Great to listen to while sitting in an airplane, watching the clouds roll on by, with a slightly shaky cup of water on the tray, sealed in a plastic jelly cup.

After a few hours on a plane, the mind and the body doze off. Perhaps an imaginary cloud-jumping session is in order. Should a rainbow appear, it could be a magical slide. Yet, ‘Lovely Rainbow’ somewhat drifts away from this fun expectation after a playful melody from the start. Odd chime sounds come in with drums. They may not be the best addition to have. In addition, the overlapping melody only managed to clutter rather than provoke curiosity. This initially started off as a relaxing track. It could have stayed that way, but it didn’t.

Another attempt at creating discontent can be heard in ‘Psy Strange Female’. This switches between a deep wavy noise, and a clear sound that is more isolated. High and low bouncy notes start making their way into the track at some point, with wheezes that ascend at a very subtly delayed tempo. There is no question that the variation is well executed, yet something about this track fails to create a variation in its mood. Perhaps there is still an element of instability expected from strangeness that needs to be brought out here.

‘Sad Christmas’ sounds like a lonely one, with the deep bass sounding in the corner and the squeaky, low wipes. Towards the middle of the track, where the deep bass gets eliminated to introduce an odd humming, it begins to sound like the ghosts of Christmas are visiting a drunk. Somehow the drunk refuses to budge. Instead, the drunk just responds with random hiccups around a minute before the track ends, and the ghosts just continue to hang around. It was as though time had stopped and kept looping at this helpless situation. Will the bartenders get bored?

‘First Times’ consists of sounds that can be familiar to all the DJs out there who are about to play in their first live gig. The throbbing excitement and joy the introduction brings with its piano, maracas and percussion, have this laid back club night atmosphere. It can be easy to imagine people sipping their own little cup or can of alcohol, engaging in easy-going conversation. When left alone, the beat introduces subtle hints of suspense, and achieves a great contrast. The laid-back vibe is an underlying, adorable concept, desirably delivered in Shidarun Asaka’s house tracks, as seen in ‘Goodbye Darling’ and ‘Cocktail House’.

Shidarun Asaka’s collaborations with CharlotteFromParis have an enormous potential that no amount of stereotypical ideas of femininity can diminish. At times, it stands straight, and tall, like the Eiffel Tower. Yet, there have been several faults which made them seem like the leaning Tower of Pisa. Weak areas may need a few more construction sessions and a bit of a push. Nonetheless, Shidarun Asaka and CharlotteFromParis are quite like both of the European architectures for the deep impressions they create.

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