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asáu starts a new chapter with mind-bending debut EP “burn notice”

The versatile Seattle-based bass producer rolls out four hypnotic, heavy-hitting tracks for his debut self-released EP.

Despite releases on international labels and support from artists like Tsuruda and Eazybaked, asáu has often struggled to see himself as a real artist.

That all changed today with the release of his debut EP, burn notice. The EP’s four genre-defying tracks are just as much about proving his artistry as they are about pushing the bass scene to new heights.

"I always felt like I wouldn't be a legit artist until I put out an EP," asáu said. "So for me, this is a huge step in my career."

asáu (pronounced “ay-shaw”) said he didn’t have a particular theme in mind when he began writing burn notice, but that the EP gradually took on its own identity as he went through the process of naming each song. As the four tracks began to come together, he envisioned a clandestine, spy-themed story that would unravel over the course of the EP.

The EP kicks off with exile, a trap-adjacent collaboration with fellow underground producer Robu. In asáu’s view, the bouncy, ever-changing style of the track is what makes it such a fitting opener for the EP.

Photo courtesy of asáu (Pirate Panda's Dirty Bass, San Diego 2/18/23)

The second track, corrupt, expands on asáu’s filthy sound with tightly-mixed drum patterns and sick sound design. The track is heavily influenced by 90s jungle and breakbeats culture, with artists like Photek and Source Direct being key inspirations during asáu’s writing process.

reborn is a slower, trippier cut that shows off a more ethereal side of asáu's music. The ambient sound of the track was primarily inspired by Blake Skowron, who creates similar atmospheric, genre-bending beats.

The EP’s closer and lead single hellfire opens with an elegant pad melody that eventually morphs into a ferocious drop. This tune began as a Tsuruda cypher beat, with Skowron and Chicago-based producer ell!psis being the guests on this particular cypher. asáu characterized this song as a “world-ender,” and also called it the most unique track on the EP.

Photo courtesy of asáu

asáu has been steadily making waves in the underground bass scene as a member of Wavecraft Collective’s roster. His comprehensive sonic range has shined previously on cuts like “shaman juice,” “Baja Blast,” and “Doom Scrolling,” the latter of which was featured on dubstep icon FuntCase’s DPMO imprint. After initially embarking on a career in journalism, asáu began producing in 2015. Since then, he has honed his sound into something completely his own.

Throughout his career as a journalist, asáu struggled daily with his work-life balance and the burnout that resulted from his grueling work schedule. As he juggled this daily stress with the steep learning curve of making beats, he was surprised he was even able to focus on his true passion.

“It f**king sucked. I hated it,” asáu said of his day-to-day routine. “But at the same time, it made me want my music career to pop off even more. I think that stress and daily angst really fueled me, and whenever I had the chance to make beats, I didn't waste a second.”

Photo courtesy of asáu

Twitch is one of the main platforms asáu has used to garner feedback on his beats. In fact, he said one of the watershed moments of his career occurred on a 2022 Twitch beat cypher run by his main inspiration, Tsuruda.

“I played [one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made] for him and he loved it,” asáu said. “It just made me realize I actually have a chance with this sh*t.”

asáu’s musical journey has been filled with ups and downs, but this EP is undoubtedly a massive stepping stone for the rising producer. It acts as a cohesive body of work that displays asáu’s unrelenting passion for his craft and sets the stage for a huge 2023.

If you’re looking to catch a set from asáu, he’ll be opening for Tsuruda at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver on July 6. Additionally, he has two festival bookings that will be announced later this year.

Stream burn notice now on all platforms.


Bass music news reporter Dylan Cunningham can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

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