Aurelie
Desde que naci
/swim; 2003/

 

 



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I assumed Aurelie to be an obscure French woman living in the attic of a ruined chateau deep in the country - not unlike Nocturna, Batman's pale-skinned lover. Alone at night, as the moon shone wanly through the latticed windows, she'd programme computers to produce archaic dirges in honour of all the unrequited love in the world. Perhaps she had a forbidden love who died in mysterious circumstances, leaving her to live out her days like Tennyson's Lady of Shallott...

So it's just as well I came to my senses and decided to do a little research, as it seems Aurelie are in fact two English musicians who have produced an atmospheric album with long stretches of silence just to put you off your guard. "Desdi que naci" begins as a kind of soundtrack to an H.P. Lovecraft story, but the drum machine of 'Divisible by Three' spoils all that. 'Mariposa' makes amends, though, and the album begins to cohere into something different. Sometimes I wish they'd forget about ambient beats and lurch headlong into their dark side - flickers of which are revealed on 'Mariposa' and 'Sea/Sky/Mountain' - and then perhaps they can investigate the chilly soundscapes of Thomas Koner, Morthound and Lustmord and create something new.

This album reminds me a little of Boards of Canada, who can be very good indeed when they forget about numerology and American cults - Aurelie don't produce anything to match the haunting simplicity of BoC's 'Corsair' on 'Geogaddi'. All the same, there are intriguing glimpses of possibilities hinted at on 'Aetha', 'Mariposa' and 'Sea/Sky/Mountain' - the 'poltergeist voice' on 'Aetha' appears all too briefly. I hope Aurelie develop their vision further into something rich and strange, without compromise. 
I'm looking forward to their next adventure already.

-Andrew Russell

/nov 15th 2003/