Sunday, October 17, 2010

Asbaar – Corona Veli Aurei : dark ambient

Reviewed by Gird_09

After tackling the initial (perhaps childish) scepticism towards a band with a name that might sound like "ass bar" I am pleased to note the sound manipulations on this album are of a quality you rarely hear. The sounds are so crispy clear, and forceful that the only fitting description is "impressive".

Corono Veli Aurei is inspired by a series of photographs by Manel O. Company. The photos show a world of monochrome desolation – devoid of humanity, but not our cultural artefacts. The music and photos form a whole, and if you close your eyes while listening to the music it's not dificult to picture dusty ashen grey cities, endless roads and telephone poles with nothing to do except stand around. By contrast the music manages to make Cormac Mc Carthy's "the Road" seem like an upbeat depiction of a cosy apocalypse.

The literary comparison is appropriate in more ways than one. The CD's inlay contains a series of texts, poems maybe, that help us interpret the various tracks, and the philosophy of the release. The music, and it's packaging is a great deal more intelligent than your average dark ambient release. It comes with a complete mythology and a vision, and you can clearly hear how much work the musician has put into the sonic half of this. I cannot stress enough how rarely we hear something as fantastic as this. Hardly ever actually. It feels like the first time I heard Biosphere's Patashnik, or when I discovered Strotter Inst, not just because the occupy a part of the same landscape, but because they are equally intelligent and effortlessly skillful in execution. Few musicians are self confident and skilled enough to produce something as outstanding as this. The detailed textures and sonic fragments are woven together in an intricate and inspiring way.

I'm also inspired in the spiritual sense, as many of the tracks and texts are anchored in mysticism. As the cover says "ASBAAR is a meething with our ancestors who speak to us in our dreams, and teach us how to run our lives [...]." It's perhaps a little like listening to ghostly whispers of yesteryear's culture and aspirations. No answers, but questions floating around, carried by the wind through broken windows and condemned structures. Tracks like Mana and Signa or Aum speak of a connection to something like a lost shamanism or atleast a respect for our surroundings – even urban ones, that we could all learn something from.

It's a severly cold october day outside, and little birds are pecking away at the food I have hanging on my veranda. Inside the sky is anything but blue, but the temperature is the same. The world is cold, and grey and very empty. Corona Veli Aurei is intensely sobering.

If I've ever recomended that our readers buy something, it has to be this one.

1 Emanatio
2 Mana
3 Agnosia
4 Signa
5 Pulchrum
6 Lumur
7 Fatum
8 Aum
9 Instinctus
10 Tucsi

Spain, CD Album, Black Drone, 2010

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great review!