Aspen: Isn't It Time You Thought About Something More Than What Makes You Happy?
By Jacob Connor
As a central conceit for this release, the artist forfeits any payment to a user-selected charity. Whether altruistic or self-aggrandising, it’s a brave new world for content producers, and Aspen proposes giving his music away for free to philanthropists. What do you get for your third-party donation? Sort of downbeat electronic music - deep strings, receding sine waves, chiming gongs and dinky keyboard arpeggios. Julia Deans from Fur Patrol pops up on Bent Back Nail. Aspen appears to be Wellington’s Bevan Smith (Signer/Skallander), enlisting the musical support of Mathew Mitchell and Jeremy Coubrough. Each lists their own worthy causes in the CD slick. Depending on whether you like sine waves, this album is an involving listen that will reprogram your synapses to make you a better person. The 13-minute Challenge to Make...[etc] is a sweeping Vangelis’ epic for the introspective. Working and Don't Listen to Hip Hop bust out some glitch rhythms.