(Cyclic Law, 2015)
Since 2007, AUN has been the magical work of two Canadians Martin Dumais and Julie Leblanc, whom use various instruments such as electric guitars and theremin besides their vast array of electronic tools to create their audial trips of Industrial and Ambient nature. Although they have an admirable discography, this is the first release I hear from them.
Most of the sounds of “Fiat Lux” are surprisingly clear, well produced, and of high quality, with the various textures of the numerous layers of audio visible and touchable in your mind, making the album a very cool and pleasantly complex trip. Every beat-like click, bleep, thud and thump is tangibly upscale, in a high-quality (kinda nineties) IDM-way, while the more noisy and grainy aspects of Ambience sound nicely thick here or thin there, making them something to really concentrate on as well. Some spoken and sung parts add to the cinematic soundtrack-like feeling of the music.
Just like in the case of Future Sound Of London’s classic “Dead Cities” (in the nineties), many songs of this album drag me into the abandoned streets and buildings of some city of the future, with post-apocalyptic mist and smoke drifting past the still-blinking neon sings with none there to see them except me. The atmospheres of the songs are usually more beautifully melancholic and intriguing in that Blade Runner way, rather than depressive, anxious or scary.
These songs have apparently been worked live as well as in the studio, and refined at a later date, making this a very polished and well-thought collection of feelings. There is definitely a feeling of a live-performance in the music, most likely having to do with the fact these individuals have been performing live over 150 times during the years. This quality release shows once again the awesome power and magic of the Cyclic Law catalogue, appealing mos def to all fans of quality IDM and Ambient. If I would be writing this in the nineties, I couldn’t wait to smoke a joint before bed-time and put this on. Well, why not do it today as well.
(Cyclic Law, 2015)
The man behind Northaunt, Hærleif Langås, has been working on the material of this album (released as a double-CD, with an awesome length of 1h 19mins) from 2003 to 2014. The music is a combination of extremely atmospheric Ambient music and field recordings of nature-sounds. What is special about Northaunt however, are the feelings of indeed nature brought forth by the synths alone.
Quite minimal in their essence, the songs feature mostly glowing, gleaming, hissing, dripping, blowing, flowing, increasing and decreasing, airy and celestial synth-sounds often quite reminiscent of the eighties and nineties Tangerine Dream (yet even more minimal) -like atmospheres with a modern sound and production. There are also some classic Vangelis-like moments here and there. What the music brings to my mind’s eye are sceneries of the themes of the album as well as concrete emotions of been exposed to nature, especially Nordic nature. The theme of the album is the “Ice Age”, which truly comes forth in the soundscapes of all the music on this release. I am taken over and under the icy surface of the sea, to the snowy mountaintops beholding majestic sunrises, or to the deep woods observing nature untouched by man. Being from Scandinavia myself, this album reminds me particularly of the wintry atmospheres of Lapland, with it’s clean air and unique light, the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky, with thousands of stars still visible and bright.
Simply put, to me this album is an audial journey to northern nature, more winter- than summer-oriented, timeless and unaffected by mankind, and I believe that’s how it has been intended to be. With this in mind, Hærleif Langås has created a very unique album of high quality, a definite must to all fans of Ambient music. There are, in the end, few albums where the intentions behind the music are clearly heard in the end results.
(Cyclic Law, 2015)
Born from the ashes of Psychomanteum, Apócrýphos (crafted by the solitary member Robert C. Kozletsky) delivers very slow-moving yet elevating intense Ambient music. The music on this album is made mostly of etherial choir-like and orchestral sounds, soft and cold Noise and Drone, various sample-like effects, and extremely high and low frequencies from the synths balancing the misty, high and deep atmospheres.
The inner sceneries on this release range from wandering in some vast forgotten halls and long turning corridors or touching the walls of claustrophobic chambers (perfectly reminiscent of the cover-art of the album), to swimming to the far corners of the known space and beyond. I can see how this album has been intended to be a sensory deprivation tank -like experience, shutting off the outside world and the chatter in ones mind, drifting into more expanded awareness within, like slowly floating out from the Plato’s cave in a sleep-like yet alert state.
The nature of the songs are quite similar to each other, rising and falling like waves of cosmic dust in extremely slow motion, raising spectacles of drama from one’s own subconscious. With a length of over an hour, this album is guaranteed to grant the patient listener moments of release or flashes of horror, working splendidly as a soundtrack to a long cleansing meditation-session or a cathartical ritual, purification through exposure to ones fears and utter solitude. A highly recommended purchase to all fans of Ambient-music.