CD EP, This.co, 2005
“Lahva,” Rasal.Asad’s latest effort in permeating ambient soundscapes, is powerfully evocative of one concept above all else – space. From the moment the first carefully modulated tone and crafted timbre of this twenty-minute piece sifts into your aural awareness, Rasal.Asad sets you adrift on a journey into unseen vastness. I imagine listening to this piece on studio-quality speakers in a comfortable, pitch-black room would be ideal. Perhaps by eliminating physical space from your sensory input and maximizing its inherent subtleties of sound, you can be transported to where I feel “Lahva” is truly meant to take the listener – the limitless space found between the stars.
“Lahva” embodies an ambient composition that is nothing if not otherworldly. Its experience is one of cold and haunting sounds washing through the giant vaults and strange, unnerving emptiness of ancient alien architecture, or echoing through the sleek, bottomless hallways and catastrophic wreckage of a long-abandoned space station. Extended, brimming notes and yawning drones shift with an elemental liquidity and underwater slowness, while seemingly distant bass occasionally rumbles through the track, its frequencies sometimes hanging at the very limits of hearing. It is at the same moment beautifully calm and meditative, and edged with a dark and menacing serenity throughout.
If a failing of prior work from Rasal.Asad may have been compositions too short in duration, the only related complaint I have regarding the single extended track on “Lahva” is that it does not go on forever (hardly a complaint, I know). This is music of infinite volume, and I’ll reiterate that I don’t mean that of the decibel variety. If you’re not careful, you could easily find yourself staring at the ceiling, illuminated only by the bluish glow of a muted television, and listening to this for an hour or more on repeat. Better yet, grab your headphones and go find somewhere quiet and isolated to get lost in the clear nighttime sky.
— Dutton Hauhart