AU – Alchímía

AU is a Swedish band that has created a sound that moves somewhere between tradition and modernity. After several years of experimenting and performing live as Ars Ultima the band settled with its very original sound of traditional (influenced)tunes and contemporary music forms.

Alchímía is a collection of both new songs and adapted songs from the Ars Ultima project. The best way to describe the sound of AU is that of a fusion between Dead Can Dance, Portishead, Hawkwind and Ozric Tentacles. The songs are inspired by the texts from ancient alchemists, these texts are also the basis for the lyrics. AU’s music has an ethereal feeling, is at times dark and moody and features psychedelic solos. Besides that their sound is organic and blends traditional instruments like the hurdy-gurdy, the shawm and recorder with electronics.

This fusion results in dreamscape like tracks like ‘Salomon’ and ‘168’. At times the sound gets a little bit harsher like in ‘Atalanta Fugiens’ with slightly distorted trip-hop beats, but despite this the track is still very soothing. The best track is ‘Väïnämöïmen’ which is the only truly traditional tune and can easily compete with the best Dead Can Dance material.

With their first album AU have produced the definite soundtrack for something like ‘The Lord of the Rings on Acid’. Albums of this quality, ingenuity and originality are rare.

artist: AU
label: Laboratory, The