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Aun - Black Pyramid

Black Pyramid is the latest release from Aun, the Canadian outfit comprising husband and wife duo Martin Dumais and Julie Leblanc. Black Pyramid, loosely based on the work of French artist Enki Bilal, creates otherworldly textures, largely drawn from guitar based drone and ambient electronics. Where Leblanc offers harmonious synthwork, Dumais' guitar work is distorted and multi-layered, adding shadowy textures to the light melodies.

'Phoenix', the opener here, combines atmospheric drone riddled with scraping tones and celestial textures attaining a sort of cosmic feel. So far, so typical of Cyclic Law cosmic dark ambient. Aun aren't afraid to step up a gear, though. The guitar based distortion of 'Taurus Ten' comes over like an extended metal drone intro with its carefully manipulated controlled buzzing, rippling out into waves of whipping electronics. The grating feedback tones that open up the title track are swallowed up by chiming cosmic synths, continuously expanding into more spacious territory.

Elsewhere Aun look to the stars for 'Ursa Major' and 'Ursa Minor' but whereas the former features a floating synth drone shot through with fizzing textures, the latter dispels the rugged interventions in the opening minute to make way for some almost classical sounds. The wavering guitar manipulations of '2095' are accompanied by melodic atmospherics, its indistinct tones forming into harsh noise patterns. It's only on the final track, 'Shining', where Aun really utilise rhythm, where chugging electronic beats carry waves of psychedelic guitar drone. Even here as the electronics falter it falls into a spacious spacey-type sound before some looser forceful rhythms kick in beside the sprawling drone-guitars.

You wouldn't think a band with releases on Aurora Borealis and Crucial Blast would find themselves on Cyclic Law, a label synonymous with dark ambient music but Black Pyramid is a rather nice fit. The tools may be different but at the heart of it is a dark cosmic sound. For more information go to www.cycliclaw.com