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Aes Dana - Perimeters


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Aes Dana - Perimeters

 

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Artist: Aes Dana

Title: Perimeters

Label: Ultimae Records

Released: Feb. 2011

Genre: Chillout, Downtempo, Ambient, Progressive

Time: 01:14:08

 

Tracklist:

01. Anthrazit (featuring Field Rotation) (6:34)

02. Snoeflinga (6:23)

03. Perimeters (10:09)

04. In Between (7:55)

05. Xylem (2:14)

06. Resin (Overspring edit) (10:12)

07. Heaven Report (7:10)

08. Antimatter (Ante) (3:25)

09. Antimatter (Post) (6:15)

10. The missing words (7:58)

11. Currents (5:54)

 

First lets have a look at the cover. You notice that Ultimae changed its standards for covers with this one. Previous albums used to have black bars at the top and bottom of the main image. This album uses a full-size picture. I can't tell the importance of that other than it's looks nice. Perhaps it's good to differentiate albums from eachother. It could be easy to think all Ultimae albums sound the same if they all look the same. With Aes Dana music, much can be understood by taking a good look at the cover. Not that you'll see any hidden details but you get the sense of where things are going. Cover and music compliment eachother good both in this one and in previous albums.

 

Aes Dana has been around for some time now and this is the 5:th album. Last album was Leylines which arrived in 2009. If you are interested you should also read that review. All albums seems to follow a similar pattern, Perimeters is no exception. If you listen you will recognize it. It's not that they sound the same, they just have the same way of telling a story. The stories differ though, and so does the sound of each album. In a certain way i think Aes Danas music is similar to classical music in a way. It speaks a language that everyone can understand but you have to get familiar with it or it'll just sound weird. It is not the ordinary "dance to this groove" or "take this chillpill"-stuff that controls emotions. It's more like "listen to what i have to say and think about it". :ph34r:

 

This music is complex. I guess you can say that it grows on you. If you try to understand it, it will always get better the more you listen to it. Each listening session you discover new sounds and get new thoughts about it. Sooner or later you will finish the puzzle but when you do that you'll notice that it was the journey there that was the good stuff. Trying to understand everything you'll notice it's also about your own preferences and not just reading the message. It's safe to say this music isn't easily put into categories. It's chillout but at the same time it's not. If you are looking for the average chillout fix perhaps you'll be dissapointed.

 

Anyway, three paragraphs and i havn't gotten to this album yet. I feel that listening to this album gives you somewhat the same feeling as listening to the previous four albums. As i said it follows the same pattern. It's chillout music mixed with more progressive basslines. The melodies are the usual, open, lots of air, space, soft, not very driving but still they have a goal. They interact with deep bass, both as samples and basslines. The aim, i guess, is to make music for both body and mind. If you manage to separate the basslines from the melodies you can get the feeling that the basslines speak to your body and the soft spacey melodies talk to the mind. This leaves you in a state where your body is awake but your mind is floating away. B):P

If you fail that, i think you'll find the basslines annoying.

 

There are differences between this album and previous ones though. Aes Dana has always had a progressive touch, but early albums like Season 5 and Aftermath had mostly different basslines. They were cleaner and wasn't used as often. Perhaps they were more in the direction of goa (not entirely but anyway). There used to be a bit more psychedelic melodies that used to speak more directly to you. Leylines and this album have a little bit less psychedelic stuff, the ambient spacey melodies are a little bit toned down and basslines are more progressive. Instead new types of samples are used. I assume it's just following the flow of time. All artists take inspiration from eachother and whats popular at the time. Talking about the message each album want's to deliver is spoiling your experience so i wont do that. It's also not that important as i believe part of it is up to the listener to make.

 

No track stands out more than the others. Some tracks are more laid back while others push you forward. The album wouldn't be good if all tracks were either way. This also means you have to give this album time. If i had to pick a track it would be the title track Perimeters. It sums the album up in a sense of way.

 

 

Conclusion and TLDR: This can be extremely good if you understand it, but also annoying if you don't (as with all music but more extreme i think). That is because it's complex. You should listen to it with an open mind, no assumptions of what it's gonna be. While part or me feels it could've been more different from previous albums, it also feels good to have more of the same since not much other music sounds like it. The slight change in direction towards being more progressive lies well with the time but isn't a personal favourite of mine. That being said, i still love it and give this two thumbs up, hopeing it'll last as long as earlier albums. :wub:

 

 

samples and more info:

http://www.ultimae.com/en/releases/504/index.html

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/inr/inr1cd045.html

Perimeters track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEFKJ0tgGk4

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This was my first review ever, hope you like it even though it was long. Hard to describe this work of art. I'm a long term fan of Aes Dana, this felt really good to write! :)

 

Some trivia: i believe Vince Villuis, the guy behind Aes Dana has some affection to Sweden. ;)

The title of the second track, Snoeflinga (Snöflinga in swedish) means snowflake. It's not the first time he used swedish words, Natti Natti (good night in swedish, sort of) from the album Season 5. The reason behind this i don't know. Also one of his other projects, H.U.V.A. NETWORK, is a collaboration with a swedish artist.

 

If you find any spelling or grammatical errors please correct me, english isn't my native language.

Anyway, cheers from Sweden! :D:wub:

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Artist: Aes Dana

Title: Perimeters

Label: Ultimae Records

Date: February, 2011

 

01. Anthrazit (featuring Field Rotation) (6:34)

02. Snoeflinga (6:23)

03. Perimeters (10:09)

04. In Between (7:55)

05. Xylem (2:14)

06. Resin (Overspring edit) (10:12)

07. Heaven Report (7:10)

08. Antimatter (Ante) (3:25)

09. Antimatter (Post) (6:15)

10. The missing words (7:58)

11. Currents (5:54)

 

 

What frustrates you? Job, school, girlfriend...all valid responses. Know what I get frustrated with? Those stupid ziplock plastic bags that hold shredded cheese. Know what I'm talkin' about? The ones that are supposed to make it easier to close and open while keeping your cheese fresh? Every time I go to open one of those things, I end up ripping it. Every time.

 

I got a better one. First tri-mester of pregnancy for my wife is stressful. Nausea, heartburn, fatigue...makes her feel like crap. I feel terrible for her cause I know there ain't nothing I can do to help. Know what else it does? Makes her boobs look f*cking awesome!

 

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Talk about frustrating! "Hey honey I know you feel bad and all, but can I get a feel goin here?"

 

Good God that gif is fabulous.

 

Next stop....sofa city.

 

As you know Aes Dana is Vincent Villuis co-owner of Ultimae as well as a downtempo wunderkind with 4 albums to his credit as well as appearances on more compilations than I can count. If that wasn't enough, he was a founding member of another downtempo powerhouse Asura and then to top it off, he makes soundtracks. His style is spacious floating downtempo and ambient as well as some progressive leanings from time to time.

 

Anthrazit- I don't know what that word means...(anthrax + zit = terrible morning.) Yeah, I might call in to work sick if I had this. And a job.

 

The strings are Rena Jones like with a melancholy tone and slow beat that makes me think of a day like today where it is raining and foggy. The melody wavers and carries with it a sense of regret, of wanting things the way they used to be. The pace picks up near the end, but loses none of its emotional quality. Absolutely loved this track.

 

Snöflinga- More rainy day soundscapes with that ultra soft kick and dubby bass line. With a slightly quicker pace the synths are more varied and create an atmosphere of looking through a haze. When the loud percussion arrives it feels like too much, maybe unnecessary. But the pad work as usual is very dreamy.

 

Perimeters- You have to love the pads...you have to. They can say so much with just a hi-hat and a kick. Like the previous tracks the kick is like diving into a down pillow as some glitchy sounds skitter around the outskirts. I love the wailing melody above the distorted strings. It sounds deep and final. Instead of a rainy day, this has an outer space feel. Like looking over the precipice of celestial bodies. Like he is prone to do, Vincent kicks up the tempo but it is very smooth. When he adds the lead melody, it is haunting. The pace ebbs and flows in a brilliant storytelling experience. Beautiful and massive.

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In Between- Slow going here, with more dubby bass and soft, almost wispy synthetics. There continues to be a glitchy taste to his music, as kicks reverberate. The melody is again forlorn and instantly transforms the track. Instead of being unfocused, it now has a destination. We just have to see how he gets there. As I listen to this I realize there are so many layers superimposed that if you don't stop...you just might miss it. He shows his trance side again as the pace quickens with his...jeez can you call an Aes Dana bass line aggressive? I guess for him it is. He sucks you in with the quiet calm and then hits you with a louder effect to make sure you are paying attention. Nice, but I prefer the slower stuff.

 

Xylem- Like xylem and phloem? I took a plant biology class once. Stop it I'm not a tree hugger or anything, it was required for the biology degree. I remember two things. How boring it was and the size of the professors nose. If she did coke it would be like, like...

 

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Yeah, but with a lot less F-word.

 

To be truthful, I find this track to be boring droney stuff, really unnecessary. Pure space filler.

 

Resin (Overspring Edit)- The sounds of swarming bees in front of pads makes me nervous. I don't like bees. Luckily I'm outta there without a sting, and this is another progressive jaunt. The metallic pads speak of industrial buildings with blacksmiths laboring over an open flame. But it's kinda boring. 5 minutes in and I really can't remember what I heard. I feel like I'm back in school.

 

"Mr Kelly could you please tell us what the answer to question # 4 is? I dunno...56? Mr. Kelly this is English class... "

 

It's not a terrible piece of work by any stretch, but it certainly is underwhelming.

 

Heaven Report- Someone needs to do a little more investigative reporting from Heaven. All these media outlets and I can't get someone from CNN on the scene? They really aren't big on transparency. I know what I've been told but it would be really great if Heaven was like I want it to be...

 

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If there is anything better than a hot chick with a great rack, I'm listenin'.

 

This is yet another progressive rambler. I'm not saying it's great because it isn't. I don't think this is his strong suit. If he wants to make great progressive check out the Iono label, but his real talent is more in the ambient downtempo arena.

 

Antimatter(Ante)- This is what he does well...fading pads, drifting sounds...very mellow yet still full with emotion. It's a short ambient piece unfortunately, but very well put together.

 

Antimatter(Post)- The 2nd half of Antimatter is a grower with sounds getting added along the way while a pad sings a mournful tune. Effects give this (like all his music) a very spacious backdrop. But wouldn't you know he throws another progressive rumbler in there....but hold up!

 

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This one is different. The bass is very thick and juicy like a nice steak on payday (Money's too tight for steak!) and it's the star of the show. That glitchy percussive element is always present as another lead worms its way in with a wavering style. It goes nicely with the pads. Much better, almost sublime.

 

The Missing Words- This starts of so mellow with an undulating synth and pad combination slowly unwinding and then regaining strength. Relaxing...nah more comatose. Lovely for sure like the sun coming out after a rainstorm. The funky breakbeat and guitar strings usher in a heavier beat. It's still slightly glitchy but I am more engaged when he does stuff without the weird percussive stuff. It's good, but when the bar is set so high anything less feels like a kick in the nuts.

 

Currents- The way he blends sounds together is nothing short of awesome. Smooth, long and winding pads with great effects are so ear fillingly delicious it frustrates me that a whole album can't be composed like this. So many sounds and emotions taking place all under a super warm chill blanket. A f*cking fantastic voyage into deep thought, Vincent let's you know who is top dog in this b*tch.

 

My house motherf*cker...--- Vincent Villuis

 

Um...he didn't say that, but with that last track he could.

 

 

So yeah, this album frustrated me. I believe it started off like gangbusters, lost it's way in the middle and attempted to make a comeback while ending on a very high note. IMO his best stuff is the downtempo and ambient ball field. He is super skilled at combining and blending sounds as well as creating rich and vivid atmospheres. No question. His progressive stuff pales in comparison not having the same feeling. Leave that to the other guys. You just keep making what makes you an icon in this genre. It's a good album, but falls short of being a great one. But, hell it's Aes Dana so for me it's a must have.

 

Psyshop

 

Beatspace

 

Goastore

 

Mdk

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