Aspera: Oh Fantastica
Aspera: Oh Fantastica
Artist Aspera
Album Oh Fantastica
Label Jagjaguwar Records
Released 6/3/2003
After a year of creative exploration, with its members split between Brooklyn and Philly, and straining to see through the recent barrage of garage rock and musical regurgitation, Aspera converged on Tonearm Studios to work on Oh Fantastica, their third album. Tonearm occupies a portion of the acclaimed Space 1026 art collective in Chinatown, Philadelphia and is purveyed by production team King Honey and J.SProcess. Aspera approached Honey after hearing the MF Doom "Monday Night At Fluid" 12" (Sound Ink). J.SProcess was brought in to compliment Honey's synthetic production skills with a more organic sensibility. Oh Fantastica continues a darkly thematic tradition established with Sugar and Feathered (recently re-released on Jagjaguwar) and the follow up Birds Fly EP (Suicide Squeeze) yet abandons the overwrought psychedelia of both records (oft compared to Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev). Oh Fantastica is full of minimal yet memorable melodies driven by Drew Mills' most upfront and un-effected vocal performance to date. The beats are intentionally grimy -- composed of deep, 808 / 909 textures and laced with gated, acoustic percussion takes and dirty synth bass lines.