If you are looking for a ticket for a perfect dream, Aun has the right solution and I’m sure they won’t betray your expectation. They use electric pianos, organ, bass pedals and tapes all together and they do it very, very well.
Aun are, for the uninitiated, a Canadian duo based in Montreal and are well known among industrial, psychedelic, electronic, ambient and shoegaze lovers. Martin Dumais and Julie Leblanc started their project in 2007 and they have released a lot of interesting material till the acclaimed Phantom Ghost, their album, in October 2011.
Aun are now back with Alpha Heaven , the new album release through the well known German label Denovali Records. Their music is mainly tagged as electronic, progressive, shoegaze, industrial, psychedelic and also techno but it’s quite hard defining their sound with a single word since they always add something new. Alpha Heaven itself is a step ahead from Phantom Ghost. The new album has been mostly recorded in one take with little editing and vocal overdubbing. The outcome is a beautiful evocative music where the piano and the barrel organ never stop alternating.
Aun’s 8th album is composed of eleven tracks that in one hour will bring you far away, where your dreams can arrive – and it’s not only due to the title’s precise implication!
Thin electronic drones, oscillating synths, minimal and ethereal echoes and delicate construction are everywhere and in each track of the album and the invoking atmosphere are created with super virtuosity. The eleven tracks seems to be one song only, each one gently flowing and blossoming into the next one. This is true mainly for the first twenty minutes of the album. The opening ‘Koenig’ seems the intro of the following ‘War Is Near’: the two tracks are equals in the space atmosphere but in the second song Aun add vague female vocals.
The following song is ‘Viva’. Well, take the songs you have just listened and add the rhythmical sequence of an organ. Aun are building their new sound! The same textile is expanding track by track and this is the movement of Alpha Heaven. It’s soft, it’s dreaming, it’s minimal and constantly in movement. And, want you or not, you’ll follow the album flow cause keeping a straight face it’s quite impossible.
Something different happens with ‘Vulcan’ and ‘La Luna’ – I love these two song titles – where the echoing notes and the use of laminar sounds bring us into a spatial dimension, a place that is out of this world.
The peak of the album has the name of ‘Peacecalm’, a dreamlike sound invoking fantastic atmosphere. Unfortunately it’s also the shortest track of the album: just 2:26 for a really beautiful interlude.
‘Alpha’ brings me to the previous ‘Vulcan’: the two songs are not so different. Aun are bring us back to the lost path towards the iridescent ‘Voyager’. Echoing vocals open spreading out the red carpet to the voyagers that are getting into the Canadian duo’s music world. A bunch of seconds and the rhythmical voice lead us in a spatial tension. Towards the end a floating melody marks the final destination of this immersive trip. ‘Voyager’, together with ‘Peacecalm’, is for sure my favorite song of the album.
The experience into the Alpha Heaven ‘s world find its end with ‘Floodland’ and ‘Return to Jupiter’.
The 10 minutes of ‘Return to Jupiter’ are wonderful and, alone, are the guarantee of your dreaming experience. This track is the incredible final touch of the album and when you’ll land you won’t remember where you have been traveling.
Alpha Heaven is not an easy album, you need to listen to it again and again before getting into its mood or before giving it the most suitable shape.
You just need to wear your headphones on and press play . Start the ride, you’ll enjoy it!