Asemix is the collaborative project of Mari Maurice (aka more eaze) and Nick Zanca (fka Mister Lies) exploring the blurry space between pop abstraction, electro-acoustic zones and sound collage. Their self-titled debut record is the culmination of a year of remote collaboration, stem-swapping, blind trust and an almost telepathic creative process.
“I really had no idea what form it would take. It seemed equally likely to manifest itself through song-form or collage,” shares Mari Maurice about her (lack of) expectations at the beginning of the creative process. Nick Zanca continues: “…she sent over a few sketches with a few overdubbed layers of edited improvisations for me to work with, which quickly evolved into a reciprocal back-and-forth.” By the summer of 2020, the duo racked up quite a lot of material, a combination of heavily processed and treated acoustic performances, synth work, field recordings and found sounds. Over the next few months, this material was refined, spliced and moulded into the duo's debut album. Across five tracks and 41 minutes of we’re introduced to a sound world that feels granular yet fluid, and one that is somehow both half-awake and fully immersive.
Whether it’s the mysterious atmospheres and deep bass rumblings of the opening “Phantom Lung”, the more noisy meanderings of “Rehearsal Earthquake” or the glitchy, fully fledged euphoria of the closing “Communal Nude”, 'Asemix' draws you in. There’s something very welcoming about these sounds, it’s like you’re on the verge of remembering them; a half-forgotten dream, a memory you only have an old image to thank for, in aural form.
The kinship, shared artistic sensibility and chemistry between Maurice and Zanca is strikingly obvious. The latter calls Asemix “one of the most fruitful and careful collaborations” he’s ever been involved in and the former continues to be in awe of the results: “It still blows my mind how much these pieces feel like they're occupying the same physical space despite recording these tracks on opposite sides of the country.” If this is the spirit and energy they can create remotely, it’s very exciting to imagine what Asemix can make when they finally meet.
"At times dense, at others sparse, the exquisite sound design possesses a curious quality of being physically pleasing and soothing. But as gentle tingles and crackles swarm around an invisible central rhythm, a certain noise – a different one during each listen – draws attention to itself. Sometimes it’s a tubular wind lick or a glinting synth that surfaces and, like a white rabbit, demands to be followed, only to rearrange the perception of the whole piece." - The Quietus
"Asemix doesn’t so much sound like world-building as an attempt to reimagine the forces which govern the material field. It means listening intently has a similar effect to intensive gaming, your mind getting confused when the real world doesn’t follow the virtual’s laws of motion." - Spool's Out / The Quietus
"Maurice and Zanca have this attention to detail that places everything under an electron microscope. Asemix is not flawless, nor do they try to be, instead making space and holding expression aloft in the stream of tiny imperfections. I could listen to this 100 times and still pick out new crevices to explore. Creating a dense, hyper color world like this is a feat on its own." - Foxy Digitalis
"The tracks combine improvisational moments with pop music structures, electroacoustic sounds and electronic textures in a haunting and visceral way." - Field Notes
released July 9, 2021
Released by Warm Winters Ltd. as WW011
Produced by Mari Maurice and Nick Zanca
Mastered by Adam Badí Donoval
Artwork and design by Michael Jensen