MP3 A>S>H>S - Audible Stellar Hypnotic Situations
Acid Jazz/funk with a dark psychedelic edge, layered with programming and modular synth pads, narrated by a turntablist and encapsulated in fresh rhtyhms. The debut studio release from Houston''s infamous genre tripping sextet.
8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Acid Jazz, ELECTRONIC: Trip Hop
At first listen, A>S>H>S could easily come off as a stereotypical jam band. But to dismiss the group as just another one of the crop of bands spawned by Medeski, Martin, and Wood would be a mistake. Where MMW and similar groups sometimes fail to maintain a steady concept throughout their albums, the Houston-based jazz ensemble A>S>H>S (pronounced “ashes”) takes experimentation and improvisation to another level.
The opening “Kleen” begins with a “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”-like, synth-laden intro that quickly moves into the band''s trademark playing, interspersed with repetitive samples about testing an atomic bomb. This twelve-minute song is the perfect introduction to the group: its immaculate beats, subdued keyboards, and moody, sometimes punchy saxophone showcase each member''s talents well. Similarly, “Corpus Raton” flows with melodic precision, and its eerie samples (”Choice is an illusion,” for instance) offer fair warning that A>S>H>S is not an ordinary jazz group.
The unexpected hilarious snippets of Chevy Chase from National Lampoon''s Vacation (”Excuse me, Holmes...”) on “Nova” show that the band doesn''t have to take itself too seriously in order to create good music. The song''s tribal rhythms, along with its smooth sax and ''70s-style keys create a dynamic, driving force.
It is immediately obvious that this band is in its ideal element in live performance—it''s infamous for downtown Houston warehouse parties—but its music translates well on record. Audible Stellar Hyponotic Situations also includes two in-studio improv tracks, ”Situation 1” and “Situation 2,” which drive the point home. Both songs, recorded in 2004 at Houston''s legendary Sugarhill Studios, are indicative of these players'' penchant for letting the music speak through their instruments, yet they never meander too far.
And this is their strongest feature: the fact they can weave elements of jazz with hints of funk, hip-hop and classic rock, but still maintain cohesiveness throughout. Pulling this off would be a challenge for most bands, yet A>S>H>S makes it seamless and nearly effortless.
David A. Cobb - https://www.tradebit.com
A>S>H>S''s music sounds like a downtown street, one where the rich and poor mingle, and gleaming glass buildings sit on top of filthy parking garages. It''s jazz created in the underground, informed by hip-hop and any sound that has ever been produced with an electrical current.
Sara Cress -Houston Chronicle
Based in Houston, Texas., this jazz-fusion sextet pursues an android-like sound. Featuring Joseph Berryman’s wah-wah/echo-laden sax licks, ethereal keys, revved up rhythms and space groove stylizations, the band also injects hi-tech hip hop into the grand mix. Fortunately, they move forward with a detectable sense of good-cheer. Therefore, this outing does not fall into that stigmatized electronics debacle where processes are over-utilized, often equating to digital slop.
It’s a fun listen indeed. And it’s an album that reveals subliminal nuances and textures upon additional spins. Sure, they cross various genres, yet successfully merge these elements into a cohesive, group sound. Marked by toe-tapping rhythms, vivacious soloing and electronically altered spoken word, the band unveils a potpourri of interesting concepts, and applications. Conga performer Xavier Gonzalez adds a world-beat edge to round out this action-packed endeavor, enhanced by the musicians’ witty maneuvers. With that notion in mind, the group morphs a sense of antiquity -- partly due to Chad Hilger’s Moog-based lines – with a nouveau mindset that looms rather large.
– Glenn Astarita - https://www.tradebit.com
Jason Williams: Drums, Percussion, Programming, Synths, Producer
Scott Nichols: Bass Guitar
Xavier Gonzales: Congas, Aux Percussion
Christopher "BezerK" Karl: Turntables
Joseph Berryman: Tenor Saxophone
Chad Hilger: Keyboards
(Audible Stellar Hypnotic Situations)
More a philosophy than a band, A>S>H>S has combined the latest in technology with the standard instrumentation of our times to create consuming rhythmic environments. From full
on tribal percussion assaults to smooth free flowing jazz/funk with a dark psychedelic edge, A>S>H>S has been creating Audible Stellar Hypnotic Situations since 1997. After dominating Houston''s underground scene for years, they’ve now added visuals in combination with their infectious sounds making it easier for the group and the audience to
feed off each other thus influencing the music. Their performances are driven by experience. Since no two are alike, missing the chance to see these musical evolutionaries is not an option.
A>S>H>S cut their teeth with the infamous Spiral Tribe, throwing all night renegade parties at unlikely and sometimes illegal places. In 2000, A>S>H>S gained notiriety for their 12,000 square foot warehouse in the Southeast area of downtown Houston deamed by local press as a "hotbed of alternative entertainment". A>S>H>S began to redefine the underground music scene. Producing showcases of live suspension rituals, fire breathing robots, and fire dancers with raw unadulterated music. Following the DIY philosophy, A>S>H>S made an indelible mark on the underground scene in Houston by hosting dozens of now legendary events.
A>S>H>S has since gone on to open for such acts as Spoonfed Tribe, HairyApes BMX, And Mystique Quintet, And has completed their debut studio album sceduled for release March 25th 2006.