Fuuka ASMR


Liam Murphy

July 17, 2022

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Saccharine shards are placed delicately and thoughtfully in this dazzling sonic mosaic of an EP

NXCXTC EP starts in the predictable, but nonetheless persistently awe-inspiring style listeners have come to expect from Fuuka ASMR. Foam Spec brusquely glides into view, an apparition simultaneously beautiful and jagged. After a few seconds of the glittering milieu finding its way toward the listener, deep fractures of strings and lower-end melody begin to stride gracefully. Within only a few seconds, the artist presents a rich soundscape, phosphorescent material raining down, guided by purposefully emotive movements akin to a double bass or ensemble of strings in an orchestra. The sheer magnitude and emotion of the track instantly obscures our view of its creator, it feels as though we watch heavenly sounds cascade around us guided by some omnipotent cosmological entity. The once-sporadic shards assemble into a more assured structure, as bass-y aspects take over the primary position in the track. Spread about in this infinitesimal spray of sonic colour is the unmistakable sound of a human voice. It has been diced and compartmentalised by the track’s creator, but all of its emotional poignance still remains intact, now reordered into a breathtaking, scattered visage.

There is a much more coalescent feel on Waveruin. The pointy samples smoothed down to an opaline form, like sea glass adrift in a swirling torrent of sound and glimmering dust. There is a sense of cold modernity as the primary loop the track begins with sounds like thrumming machinery, with dissonance peeling off of its surface. This time around, human vocals are barely discernible, their intonation fluid with that of the instrumentation. This does change however, with the track suddenly becoming more emotionally fragile as female vocals rise toward the top of the mix, one solitary voice setting off dozens more. The sudden peeling string melody that slides by more than once is touching, with a real feeling of frantic emotion. The track seems to be trying its best to order itself, but the penchant for disorder and impulse is too strong. This being said, its creator does a masterful job at weaving a sonic narrative out of cacophony.

Ana Piety showcases the EP’s style at its very basis, as different shattered pieces of a song flash past us. It feels as if we are looking through a restricted viewfinder at small parts of a vibrant painting in quick succession. The listener is able to partly construct what the perceived whole would be, but our attention is taken by the few centimetres of pixels in front of us at that time. As the sampled pieces begin to stick around a little longer, each piece of the painting begins to flow a little more fluidly. The whole spirit of the masterpiece begins to breathe through with each successive burst of sound. It is not long before splinters of synth push out toward us in a grouping not unlike a rhythmic chord section. In this track we get an idea of the effects that can be employed by manipulating the sustain time of each sample. Much more than just slicing up samples and arranging them, the artist also delicately employs them with a varying decay time, causing a range of textures and tones to appear even in the finely placed mosaic. Once again, the artist’s style allows for this energy and vibrancy that one will not find in many other kinds of music. Evocation of human emotions like frustration, heartbreak and angst are all compressed down to a few milliseconds. The cadence of voices whittled down to a percussive sharpness. The short clip at the end, a warm and flowing sample of what sounds like an advertisement, allows us to truly appreciate the unique nature of Fuuka ASMR’s work

The listener is treated to the ‘rare’ track Senki Rave. It is a good a time as any to mention that the artist, supported by HRR Management, purportedly forked out $78m in legal fees to retrieve these songs from the Tennessee Nightcore Producer’s Union. Though the amount may be eye-watering, hearing this track makes us fully appreciate the monetary sacrifice all the more, as tightly-wound samples begin to pump into the air like confetti. A little differently from the tracks before, the bass elements assert themselves first with the supercharged notes setting out a bouncy and emotionally intense feeling. As the artist begins to layer higher, more brittle samples on top, it almost feels like we are watching sparks fly from a relentless disc sander. Vocal shards ignite on impact, causing an impressive luminosity, while skidding rapidly against the powerful force. 

Wishcometrue sounds like an earnest attempt at restoration. The listener is greeted by blasts of a particularly juiced-up track assembled into what sounds like an attempt to recreate its original form. If not a partial reconditioning, then a short, sharp supercut of a track is what reels past us at a fast pace. Once again instilling a sonic journey where some might expect a brief and shell-shocking still life experience, certain sounds begin to hit with a little more permanence than others. As they do so, they ripple against a body of crystalline liquid with a little more viscosity than water, sending shining waves branching out into a surprisingly large soundscape. The pieces coagulate now and again, joining with each other, overlapping as two slightly different shades of sugary oil mix together. 

Fuuka ASMR is presented as an outcast from the nightcore and hyperpop movements. Though it is hard to say whether this has been earned or is self-inflicted, the artist’s uniqueness is plain to see. The sound is revolutionary, and dives into sampling at a level so granular it seems almost unfathomable to imagine a journey forward from such a raw starting point. It utilises the familiar sounds of the two mentioned genres, but the styling of their delivery impact us in a completely different way. Truly, the extortionate legal fees only go so far in illustrating the true value of NXCXTC EP. It is incomparably powerful, uniquely emotional and artistically invigorating.