Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
A searing intensity breathes through Devil Dance. Initially we hear tightly-strung vocal samples that push through like pistons, sharply and concisely. Underneath this layer, lower frequency sounds begin to gather to a galloping pace. A rumbling noise throbs rhythmically. The style seems to possess the melodic awareness of hyperpop or nightcore, but Fuuka ASMR’s delivery is akin to something more experimental. The sharpness and disregard with which the samples are treated speaks to a more abstract intention. The sample suddenly starts to proceed through what can only be its intended progression, yet the artist still hammers it down under the sprinting feet of low-end impacts. These feet fade out, leaving the emotive samples to fire out. They brim and spread over each other becoming unkempt, before they are pulled back to their original restraints. All the while, that ominous throbbing continues to shake the foundation of the track. We end with the razor-sharp samples alone, sounding as if the door to some gigantic furnace is opening and shutting incredibly quickly.
Mimidance’s samples are more stretched out, Fuuka ASMR’s manipulation wearing more evidently on the sounds. Voices stretch and struggle as they are sent through an order unrecognisable from their original form. Before long, the sounds are sent into a rapid fire flurry of noise, sounding like the revolutions of some great industrious machine as the artist separates the musicality from the abject dissonance. The volume is brought up suddenly, jarring as the samples whir right in front of our face. The sounds begin to cry out in pain at a certain point before going through their same semi-melodic sequence, shutting off abruptly.
The two-track EP wears a name that is currently under much scrutiny after Spotify’s creation of a hyperpop playlist has resulted in scrambled definitions and almost overreactive division. Fuuka ASMR’s style seems to purposely fly in the face of all of this. The album artwork denotes a scrawled, scatterbrain style, intentionally jarring with the slick and satisfying visual nature of so many new ‘hyperpop’ releases. In their style, the artist delivers a sound that seems to commandeer the speeding up of emotive music and melodies for use in harsh sound art rather than often inoffensive electronic pop.