Review: AUN - Black Pyramid (2010)


artist: AUN
release: Black Pyr­amid
format: CD
year of release: 2010
label: Cyc­lic Law
dur­a­tion: 47:59

I like sur­prises, though pleas­ant ones in par­tic­u­lar. Just when I thought I could write down Cyc­lic Law as a slightly pre­dict­able label with min­im­al­ist dark ambi­ent of usu­ally high qual­ity and occa­sional orches­tral or mar­tial out­bursts, just then comes along an album like Black Pyr­amid.

AUN is a duo (Mar­tin Dumais and Julie Leb­lanc) from Mon­tréal, with a couple of albums to their name already. If this most recent offer­ing is rep­res­ent­at­ive, it’s an oeuvre stitched together from ambi­ent, drones, and gui­tar psy­che­delia. The seven sound­scapes on this album are highly var­ied, show­cas­ing a wide array of tex­tures con­jured from synths and gui­tars, often form­ing subtle rhythms from the lay­er­ing of melodic lines on dif­fer­ent levels and loops. The res­ult is stun­ning, com­bin­ing the bright and deep col­our­ings of astro­nom­ical inspir­a­tion with both coarse and del­ic­ate edges to the sound.

The title track is an excel­lent example, with its shim­mer­ing main melody waves and some rawer bits stick­ing out here and there. Of note is also the mas­ter­ful closer “Shin­ing”, start­ing with a psychy gui­tar freak­out and segue­ing into massive dis­tor­ted rhythms and drones.

It’s a per­fect move on Cyc­lic Law’s part to sign AUN, as this is simply a stun­ning album. Oblig­at­ory listen­ing for all ambi­ent lov­ers, espe­cially if you like Troum, Alphane Moon, and oth­ers in that vein where ambi­ent, drone, ritual, and spa­cious­ness meet.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Phoenix (7:04)
2. Taurus Ten (6:19)
3. Black Pyr­amid (7:59)
4. Ursa Major (6:38)
5. 2095 (8:02)
6. Ursa Minor (2:42)
7. Shin­ing (9:15)

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