In less than 5 years, Asi Fui have established themselves as one of the most ambitious and original sounding bands out of Long Beach. Their 2016 EP, LIVE Fernet Session, showcased the group’s ability to produce tracks that are just as groovy as they are atmospheric. It was also a product of the spontaneity that has become somewhat of a trademark for them. “Those were basically the first songs we wrote as a band,” drummer Ryan Reiff says. “On top of that, we recorded it live in our friend JP Bendzinski’s living room.” This affinity for live, uninhibited energy is what fuels Asi Fui’s sound, as they often extend their songs into improvised jams during live performances and have even gained a reputation for performing unannounced sets.
This week, Asi Fui will release their first full-length album, Parallelogram, their most refined work to date. “In the beginning, a lot of our stuff was more jammy and improvised,” explains vocalist/bassist Tatiana Velazquez. “I think since we’ve been playing together longer, we’re kinda growing and structuring everything a little bit more.”
“We’ve been concentrating on almost producing as we write the songs so that by the time we get to the studio, we know exactly what we want to do,” adds Reiff. “At the same time though, we’ll always have an element of improvisation,” he says reassuringly. The first single from the album, “Honey Falls,” which was released with an accompanying music video in March, holds up to this promise. Reiff and Velazquez hold down a relentlessly solid groove while guitarist Miguel Vazquez and (now former) keyboardist Jacob Connelly play textural, evolving melodies. Velazquez’s smooth, soulful voice is at the center of the mix, asking “Who are you these days?”
The song’s music video is also a product of Asi Fui’s driven work ethic, as it was conceptualized and written by themselves. “It was just like a super DIY video that Tati had an idea for. Miguel and Jacob handmade the bear masks we wore,” explains Reiff. “ It was just a cool, fun video we did.”
“It’s kind of like a mini movie,” adds Velazquez. “Honey Falls” is a perfect example of what fans can expect to hear on Parallelogram: songs that are both otherworldly and relatable. Sonically and lyrically, Asi Fui are masters of contrast. In reference to the album’s title, Velazquez explains, “That’s the name of one of the songs on the album and it stems from the idea of two people living parallel lives.”
Asi Fui will be celebrating the release of Parallelogram on June 14th, at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. The show will feature support from underground hip hop icon 2MEX, legendary producer DJ Nobody, and Long Beach favorite Rudy De Anda.
Although their latest album has yet to be released, the band shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, they’ve been writing new material for their next release and, with the recent departure of keyboardist Jacob Connelly, they already started incorporating some changes. “Jacob’s playing is on every single song [on Parallelogram],” explains Reiff. “His sound is definitely a big part of the record. He recently left the band, and there are no hard feelings or anything, but now we’re ready to try something else.”
“We kind of figured out that it gives Miguel a chance to free up his playing and fill even more space,” Reiff says. “With just the three of us and Miguel being, other than Tati’s vocal, the only other real melody machine, it really allows him to spread out.” This ability and willingness to adapt to just about any situation are what make Asi Fui such an unstoppable force.