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Aun: Phantom Ghost

img  Tobias Fischer

Two musicians with their mind set to a single goal: The exploration of sound. On their latest effort under the banner of Aun, ambient-shoegazing has turned into a focal point for Martin Dumais and Julie Leblanc, incorporating complexly convoluted guitars and splinters of fragmented vocals. Even though the latter never develop a fantastical language of their own, Elisabeth Frazer of Cocteau Twins nonetheless makes for an obvious reference point. After all, the human voice is just one among many instruments here, escaping tangibility through its pointed application and the poignant focus on select thematic motives.

Phantom Ghost must thus seem like the perfect title to a record which has made elusiveness its mission. And it is even gaining in meaning over the course of the album: Pieces like „Out of Mind“ are making use of song-related structures and thus strongly expand the material's accessibility; at the same time, expectations of this shoegaze-pop-etherialism continuing throughout the entire record are (thankfully, from my point of view) thwarted by the music's tendency of growing increasingly more unreal. It should seem perfectly apt, then, that Phantom Ghost's eighth track (which, coincidentally, isn't even included in the track listing) should only develop a gripping rhythm in its very last bars, before quickly fading away again.

Phantom Ghost always seems to be one step ahead of its audience. And yet, trying to keep up with it is more than worth the effort.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: Aun
Homepage: Denovali Records

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