Vasko is the solo recording project of Brian Sopher, a Columbus, OH musician who has busily recorded, produced, and released music as Glasslung, Folted and has performed as a duo in drone / noise project Hintergrund. ‘Enough Enough’ is Brian’s first dubstep release as well as the first EP under the name Vasko.
I missed my chance / procrastinated in reviewing this when it was released late last year but nonetheless, I feel like this should be talked about and deserves a review regardless of whether it is still relevant.
On this EP Vasko’s style of dubstep is a dark and disjointed journey thats plays off of it’s minimalistic influences. The song structure is skeletal, basic, built on deep sub bass that tectonically shifts beneath an aura of ambience resulting in something sleek and futuristic while having the same mystery and curious appeal as some dusty lost tape recording. There are large spacial synth swells that produce this overarching feel of something expansive or maybe even cosmic but at the same time everything still remains restrained being careful not to overwhelm. The overall mood is calm even though there is this surrounding unease, a sense that not all is right and that beneath the soft airy synths is something deeply sinister. Everything is neatly organized but still has the organic feel of a piece of drone music where it forces one to pay attention and pick out parts of the music taking away something ambiguous and new to each listen.
The album begins strong, ‘Touching Till’ is a sensual pursuit of bass heavy rhythms that features a sample that repeats throughout the track. It may be just me but I get this slight R&B influence as well, not only on this track but on the EP in it’s entirety. The beats are thin sounding, and at times seem to fall out of time with each other. Its a primitive approach, stripped down to a wiry sound, one that is as dark and mysterious as it is comforting. I could honestly listen to it over and over again. One of my favorites, ‘Women’ is a beautiful feast of synth sounds that contains little in the way of beats or dubstep and for what it is, it is just fine. There is a tasteful palette of delicately layered synths that does enough to make up for the sparse beats.
The album closes with ‘Traumzeug’, a stark interpretation of post-dubstep that at times outshines the classification itself. There is this distant metallic clanging that keeps the beat throughout ‘Traumzeug’ bringing out this feeling of anxiety, building tension that never sees release and ultimately leaves you waiting for something that never comes. Relying heavily on a minimalistic approach I can’t help but feel like there were moments where the music became repetitive and felt stagnant which I can imagine is always a concern when creating something like this. Fortunately the songs are a good length, never going past the five minute mark ensuring that if things do become boring they aren’t boring for long.
The focus of Enough Enough tends to favor atmosphere over beats and like much of Brian’s work prior to Vasko, it has this same strong ambient presence that runs throughout the songs on this EP which makes for a fairly even blend of relaxing ambience and minimalist dubstep in an attempt to challenge the listener with a few unconventional sounds.
Overall Rating: 7.9
Favorite tracks: ‘Touching Till’, ‘Conveyor’, ‘Women’
Recommended: Futuristic; fans of UK garage and Burial will have no problem getting into this.