Asset / Defect

by Tristan Welch

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about

Step 4: I will make a realistic and rational evaluation or “inventory” of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors, both positive and negative. This is not to induce guilt and shame, but to evaluate where my attitudes, actions and decisions were not realistic or rational”

Given the inherently political nature of most of his music, “Asset / Defect” is a rare turn inward for Welch. As a person in recovery, “Asset / Defect” is an audio/visual accounting of sorts, a result from tallying up the ledger of negative character defects and positive assets. An accounting feat that is musically reflected in the clear balance between beautiful, ebullient tones and grainy distortion held at tension within the work.

"Tristan Welch‘s track starts with a keening, searching feel. Slow vaporous tendrils reaching up and out into the aether. There’s an insistent quality to ‘Asset / Defect‘ but one that takes the uplifting route rather than a dark and foreboding path. As time ticks by, the sonic layers deepen and widen, with a dawning quality – the first rays rising slowly from the horizon.

Gradually the celestial peak is reached before Tristan retreats from the digital waves and a more tentative place of solitude takes centre-stage. Across 11 minutes he achieves what the best ambient and drone music does – take the listener on a journey, drawing them into a certain headspace." - Doubtful Sounds

"That conflict between (essentially) good and bad plays out in the music as the harmonies appear at once lights and dark at points. Strings and electronic hue bleed into each other, as small melodic fragments play out in repetitive fashion, eventually overlapping and weaving in and out of each other. It's not just interesting, but beautiful as well." - BACKSEAT MAFIA

"Asset/Defect" builds in waves, from washes of electronic textures, to guitar noise smoothed out into something elegant, and back to a louder sound altogether. The obvious point of comparison is Robert Fripp, but there are moments of this that made me think of Harold Budd, or even Steve Reich. Welch keeps this moving just enough that it doesn't feel like some of the minimalist stuff you might know from past masters, and the repetition here is in pursuit of a mood more than in the service of creating a groove, ultimately. That is what makes this a distinctive work for me. The second track, "Dropping Guilt", is a bit shorter, and more of one mood throughout. On some level that made me think of the instrumental pieces on The Moon and the Melodies, but it also sounded like something from a Sakamoto soundtrack too." - A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed

"Asset / Defect is an ambient drone piece but manages not to be too ‘droney’. It’s more waves of intermingling sound that come, pause, and retreat. You’d not really know there were guitars in here. It’s all been processed around. As a person in recovery, the title of the piece comes from the reckoning of positive and negative personality elements. As such the piece is a very inward looking one. The overall slow vibration of sound encourages a kind of contemplative or meditative air but with a hint of fuzziness that all is not well. A little oasis of near calm in an otherwise noisy over-stimulated world." - Acid Ted

"On his newest EP, “Asset / Defect” Tristan Welch explores a timeless dichotomy of positive and negative expansions and contractions through space, silence, time and sound. Through glassy, shifting drones and tone poem movements ringing present, like a warm blanket after a cold night adrift on the nights moon last beam. The album opens up with beautifully articulated mid tempo oscillating synth pulses, a faint buzzing underscored with a warm bath of tones; a calm yet slightly unnerving respite; a rest for the restless, for the anxious, and for the forgotten. This is slow patient, music, for one in a process of uncertainty, as well as one of discovery knows that things can change, and every once in a great while, for the better, and maybe this time they will, that is the question this music asks, what is change, and when will it be cast upon us?" - DECAYCAST

credits

released July 3, 2020

Written / Recorded by Tristan Welch
Mix / Master by Mark Beazley

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Tristan Welch Washington, D.C.

Tristan Welch is a musician & artist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. His focus is creating soundscapes via electric guitar, treated with electronics. A self-professed fascination with minimalism and repetition is evident in his work- a hypnotic layering of melodics that evolve and dissipate while maintaining a steady tone center. ... more

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