A brooding wind sweeps down from the North, as I linger here at my computer with all the esoteric buttons and strange pictograms that is the internet. I find myself longing for a place far from this urban wasteland in the belly of Sweden. Music tends to be the one thing that can separate me from the drudgery of life, and especially so, the majesty of grand ambient atmospheres. During evenings like this, I crave something that is so far from the industrial reality of this Scandinavian suburb that you literally can see the concrete landscapes crumble before your inner sight. On evenings like this, I want to soar away underneath the stars.
Aura Negativ offers this imaginative possibility, and is a new side-project from Eöl, the Spanish musician and soundsmith behind Numen and Elffor. This debut self-titled effort is comprised of a handful of tracks that were recorded around 2005 and eventually gathered together for their release here. These six untitled tracks are a combination of majestic ambient structures and harmonious swells the lull over grand sweeping melodies and curiously distorted vocals and samples. It is hard to describe this album without using overly ambiguous words, but that is primarily for the fact that it is such a grand experience that words are simply not sufficient enough to describe the intricate emotions and sensations that seep through every melody and every sound of this album. Even though this album is far from unique in its shape and sound, it has been crafted so bloody well that it deserves high praise for the atmosphere that was obtained alone. It feels like a soundtrack to some grand, void-born adventure, and although the tracks all differ substantially from the one another, they also individually retain a unique and powerful sound. The first time that I heard the fourth track, I was so blown away by the powerful sweeping melody that I almost lost myself in that particular time and place. The combination of a heavy atmosphere and distorted vocals meld together exquisitely to bring both intensity and an overwhelming other-worldliness to the song. The rhythm here has been crucially structured and never takes up more space than it needs in order to amplify the superb minimal melodies of the song, yet it remains like a beating heart all through the track.
Aura Negativ might be a trunk of odd bits and ends from Eöl’s past, dug up and crafted together into a release in the latest months of 2013, but it has blown me away in its potent gale. I’ve always been infatuated with black ambient acts, and ever since I found the early albums of Forest Silence, I have searched far and wide for more of the same. This album might well be the grail for seekers of a soundtrack to the void between the harsher black ambient and the more melodious atmospheric shapes of classical dark ambient.