CD, This.co, 2003
“Asuna”, is the second release by Portuguese electronic project Rasal.Asad and is essentially an album of developing soundscapes.
Rasal.Asad’s musical compositions are definitely not ambient music, the kind of which can run in the background and the perception of which can be ‘switched’ on and off at will. The original and almost dream-like soundscapes presented in “Asuna” are elegant, extremely involving and effectively succeed in grabbing the attention of the listener at every moment, but they never actually distract from the world around. It almost feels as if the music was designed with the purpose of ‘running’ as a parallel process in one’s mind. The inventive and subtle compositions in “Asuna” do not have to be ‘listened to’ as, upon hearing, they will effortlessly insinuate themselves into one’s mind.
I believe that Psychic TV might be a strong influence in Rasal.Asad’s work as “Asuna” strongly reminds me of Psychic TV’s album “Cold Dark Matter”. However, “Asuna” goes one step further in its electronic composition as it never ‘fades’ into the background, as frequently happens on “Cold Dark Matter”.
However, I perceive two flaws in this album. The first is the length of the musical compositions, which are too short on duration and should definitely be allowed to develop more. The second is the use of vocal samples which, in a couple of compositions, detract a bit from the presented soundscape and seem out of place (the preacher sample in the track ‘Simulacra’ is the prime example).
— Miguel de Sousa