Yara Asmar – Synth Waltzes and Accordion Laments (Hive Mind)


There is something winsome and childlike about Lebanese musician and puppeteer Yara Asmar’s second album, again for Hive Mind. It’s an intimate world unto itself, where notions of time are relaxed, and feel suspended somehow, allowing us to slow down and sink within the music. There’s no percussion so the accordion can breathe and be still, and her synth work exists in harmony, never really drawing attention to itself unnecessarily, creating gentle, often fragile feeling sheets of sound. It’s such a gentle work, with whistles and the hint of distracted and washed out vocals, like an absent minded child humming along to themselves as they play with their toys.

It’s not really ambient music, though it does fill a room, despite its gentle nature. At times it gurgles and burps, at others it feels like lofi electronica, maybe even new age music. It’s very much home recordings, perhaps a little lofi – yet that only enhances the warmth and feeling of connection. Probably the lasting takeaway is that nothing feels hurried, there is time and space, yet somehow the notion of what these constructs are and how they operate feels different inside Asmar’s music. This is how Susumu Yokota used to make me feel, yet Asmar is significantly less structurally rigid, seemingly operating outside of genre constraints – and all the better for it. Her music is strange, adventurous elongated and highly idiosyncratic, its music that beckons you from afar and if you’re willing to get close enough will fill your soul.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.