Af Ursin – AIKA

La Scie Dorée

Subtitled “Un Réveil Sidérant Dans Le Passé Décomposé”, this new LP by Af Ursin – the solo project of Timo Van Luijk, of Noise-Maker’s Fifes and In Camera fame – comes in a sepia-tinged non-figurative cover reminiscent of Mirror and Andrew Chalk’s artworks. The first side starts with simple (but not simplistic) wind / brass counterpoint, soon replaced by the mysterious “Marche Arrière”, with its echoes of early Univers Zero (that bassoon demarcating the general gloom..). The closure is an atonally wavering abstraction of pre-taped womanly pitches, initially disturbed then besieged by weird electronic noises, somewhere between Akira Rabelais, György Ligeti and Rafael Toral’s recent machinations. The second part begins with a short melancholic introduction for ancient-sounding piano – think Asher subjected to a further spin of a time machine – leading to the eerily seducing sonorities of “Un Réveil”, whose sparse orchestral elements and recurring ghostly voices are gradually sustained by an unremitting slow pulse (tubas?). Tony Conrad meets Yog Sothoth, the puzzlement even greater than before. Anyhow, don’t mind the comparisons: Van Luijk is a legitimate representative of no-frills, all-substance sound art.

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