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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AES DANA: (a) period. (2021)

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Not without flaws, (a) period. is however not far from perfection!

1 Period 01-Foreword 6:15

2 Period 02-Transverse Axis 6:24

3 Period 03- A Bluetiful Day 7:45

4 Period 04- Somewhen 8:49

5 Period 05- Befallen 7:16

6 Period 06- Haphazard 6:39

7 Period 07-Evermore 7:58

8 Period 08-Overpass 6:37

9 Period 09-Ambivalent 8:42

10 Period 10- Evocatory 5:03

(CD/DDL 71:33) (V.F.)

(Psybient, Tribal Dark Ambient)

It's with a big wind. A big hollow and buzzing wind that Foreword settles between our ears. Each breath pushing another one, the title progresses by these deaf impulses linked to a vampiric bass layer. This atmospheric texture is recurrent on the 10 periods of (a) period. Thereafter, each title breathes of its freedom. The first chords tinkle and their luminous projections project a more or less translucent aura that gives this vision of smooth cream coiling in a black coffee. And that's the magic! In this magma of sounds infused with steel, Foreword's slow procession takes place in a metal universe that exposes its fragility by merging with elements of psybient. They weave in and out percussions that respond to their echoes and to metal hoops that break apart to create the illusion of melody. From the glitch and its attraction is born this slow rhythm, resonating like the kiss of a sucker, in a factory where percussions and their satanic effects are made. An aerial melody painted with chthonian colors is laying down and gets sucked by the non-being of the music while Foreword and its Mephistophelian trumpets quietly melt in an environment where only the followers of Aes Dana feel comfortable; the unknown and its dark secrets revealed by spiritual antennas. A strong album was needed to survive Inks. Vincent Villuis passes the test by going in the opposite direction. In a much more mysterious album, as it is very dark, where the rhythms take on tribal textures with muffled tapping of footsteps copying spectral hymns, he takes his listener into a universe where the sounds lap up its imagination in a fascinating fountain of youth located where even our dreams have this need of an imagination transferred by another entity. The rhythm structures here flee the Electronica model, with a few exceptions, to embrace secret textures, being too muffled by sepia painted soundscapes. If they are different, since they are often fragmented and structured in two or even three phases in the same track, the ambiences have a more metallic, a more industrial perfume with drones in evolving tones, hoops that clash again and again as well as rains coming from secret gutters. Behind the closed doors of my eyelids, I imagined scenes from Underworld in a greenish color. Hmmm...and I hadn't reached the limit of my painkillers yet!

Transverse Axis fills my headphones, the best option to be overwhelmed by (a) period., with drones in tune with every nuance. Dark winds murmur the whispers of decay in a pond hanging upside down over our ears. The water oozes and the metallurgical sound clues do not lie about the origins of this new VV opus. The winds howl in a sonic adrenaline rush that rains down on these utopian pools until the chants of the god Aeolus dry up the final moments of Transverse Axis. A Bluetiful Day! This beautiful, and at the same time sad, title lives by the dull impulses of a bass layer eating up the remains of the ghostly remix of Fade To Grey, by the band Visage. Everything happens in a barely perceptible nebulosity. It's like if spectres were humming this rhythmic momentum from their toothless mouths and devoid of vocal cords before the melody of A Bluetiful Day spreads out its dreams on a hyper slow rhythm. A two-beat ballet for a lover refusing to let go of the ghost of his beloved. Somewhen needs a big 3 minutes to hatch a dull rhythm that we can imitate with our tongue on our palate, no matter the flow. But not the setting, which is metallic gases and Freudian whispers laid bare over a layer of absent voices. The sonic indecisions sway along aerial zigzags as the oozing water from the caves ends up flooding a dance floor with an illusion of trance in a moment too short and a finale too hasty.

We are in the core of (a) period., especially with Befallen and its rhythmic texture divided between a first approach of tribal rhythm and a second more electronic approach with a core of bass-pulses jumping nervously on an artificial state of alert. Divided in 3 phases, Befallen ends in an electronic tribal rock approach with solid percussions and electronic percussive elements. A great track! And in the album and in the discography of Aes Dana. Haphazard barely needs 90 seconds to drop the closest structure to Inks in (a) period. Deafening electronic rhythm with those sharpened hoops that slice through the ambiences to stimulate a rhythmic texture fragmented between a period of psybiences before resuming a more inviting form. We slip into a long ambient passage with Evermore to come back to rhythmic life with the more Electronica vision of Overpass. The rhythm rolls like a train with its percussive shadows and its artificial rhythmic heart beneath a metallic drizzle and hoops of which the crashes between them create bluish floating masses. Overpass could also have been part of Inks. More ambient than rhythmic, the universe of Ambivalent develops through the nuances of its drones under a radioactive rain that easily projects us into the visions of Blade Runner. The title bears its name very well with a hesitant structure that attacks the rhythm almost 5 minutes later with orchestrations to split your heart in two, so poignant it is. A short and very Electronica phase reminds us of the psybient side of Aes Dana who ends his last opus with Evocatory where the joyful cries of children are trapped in a texture where the darkness of Vincent Villuis also struggles with a quietude that melts into a sibylline finale.

Not without flaws, (a) period. is however not far from perfection! It's an album that can be discovered by listening, each one revealing its next jewel to be tamed. The ambiences breathe the visions of Aes Dana in all that it is more usual. It's in the texture of the rhythms, the high level of emotivity and the sepia color of the soundscapes that (a) period. stands out compared to Inks which is just another chapter in the Aes Dana history.

Sylvain Lupari (August 2nd, 2021) ****½*

Available at Ultimae Records

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