AUN - Phantom Ghost

Aun - Phantom Ghost

8 songs
43:50 minutes
***** ***


Although their first album came out in 2007, Aun have released already far over a dozen albums in the short time span of their existence. Initially Aun was the solo effort of Canadian artist Martin Dumais who apparently has a black metal background. And even though Voivod’s Away was drumming on one of Aun’s albums, this band has hardly any metal feeling to it. Lately Dumais was joined by Julie Leblanc, making Aun a duo which is producing otherworldly drone music which is unafraid to venture into other territories.

Phantom Ghost starts with the ethereal Phantom, a track that has hardly any rhythm and is haunted by Leblanc’s whispery vocals. The following Out Of Mind, the only song less than five minutes long, takes the duo into an unexpected direction with a driving beat and an undeniable indie shoegaze quality. This is the only time though where Aun sound like a regular quasi-pop band. At first I was disappointed that everything that follows goes back to a quieter near-ambient mood, but in the end I came to accept that the two Canadians are actually also very good at that. This may not be the album to listen to while driving a car (it kind of can make you sleepy), but there are many redeeming values. The synth programming is quite complex, the rhythms too even though they stay discreetly in the background. The songs are all between five and eight minutes long and therefore never overstay their welcome.

All in all this feels like drone seen through an ambient lookingglass, at times recalling the mid-Seventies collaborations between Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. It is all very nice, there is a lot of detail waiting to be discovered. Listening only half-heartedly will still leave you with a soothing experience, but you will lose out on all the brain work that went into the concoction of this high quality album. Phantom Ghost may not be instantly accessible, but repeated dosages will ultimately reveal a fascinating album with lasting value and appeal.

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