Asucre – Hope Leaves

Artist – Asucre
Release – Hope Leaves
Release date – Dec 2016
keywords – ambient chelsea smarr dark ambient drone guillermo pizarro noise pennsylvania post-rock soundscape soundtrack texture Green Lane
Label – Self release
Link –
reviewer: Wayne Rex

I’ve not had the pleasure, up until now, to have come across this duo from Pennsylvania going by the name of Asucre (The e is hyphenated but I cannot work out how to do that on my computer) They consist of Chelsea Smarr : Harp and effects and Guillermo Pizarro : Guitar, vocals, texture and electronics. If you’re looking for an awe inspiring, jaw dropping album consisting of layers and layers of sound textures from thoughtful, almost whimsical ambience to built up noise, then you have come to the right place.

The first track “Recluse in the bell tower” is song of peerless beauty and atmosphere. Without wanting to downgrade the quality and powerfulness of this track, I could easily hear this as an accompanying piece throughout some art-house film. The music itself conjures up more pictures, landscapes, and feeling than any film could even begin to accomplish. It’s a soundscape of textures that mirrors the minds consciousness and almost makes you question whether you are listening to it or looking into yourself from afar and a different dimensional perspective. Yeah, I know, I’ve confused myself too.

Imen in Tunis (Handsome God Within us) is hard track to review, in depth at least. Because it has so many different vibes going on in one five minute piece. Chelsea’s harp is elegant and understated but the absolute backbone of the track. The unnerving vocal distortion resembling a man possessed by his own turmoil and inner demons is as much disturbing as it is tear-jerking. We have all kinda felt like this track before and struggled to cope with what the mind is telling us and the hand life has given us.

The penultimate track is “Sugarloaf mountain” shows us the intense minimalism that Guillermo can conjure up. His skillfully chosen uses of drone and electronics is an orchestra in itself. The plucked accompanying harp/s is/are the creepiness, unsettling looming of the dark. Like walking through a damp forest at night with only your senses to guide you and your mind to play tricks on you. The slow and carefully built up crescendo of noise is a welcome treat and totally necessary to where you want the track to go and where these two accomplished musicians guide you. By the end of it you really feel like you have been through an emotional ordeal and all you want is to go again.

To end, Asucre leaves us with “October Limbs” a short track that has noises and sounds galore, penetrating through the sound you are hearing and digging deep into your thoughts. There is something very rural about this track and to be honest, that can be said for the whole record. I don’t mean it’s like a country album but what I’m trying to get at is that the soundscapes and feelings it’s manifests give you the impression of rural living or am I confusing rural with sparse? I leave that up to you the listeners but whatever your conclusion, it cannot be said that this is anything other than a consummate recording and recommend everyone listen to it.

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