Thursday, January 20, 2011
Dark Ambiances Series - Pt. 5: Asianova
During 2010, as I was looking for more dark ambient music, I came upon a project called Asianova. Intrigued by the name, I proceeded to get hold of two recordings: Among Grey Ghosts and Love Like a Veiled Threat.
Both of these impressed me enough to want to track their other releases and to find out more about them.
And so I found out that this group is (or was) in fact a collaborative project from San Francisco, CA, consisting of Ure Thrall and his then partner, vocalist Pamela Passmore with Voice Of Eye members Jim Wilson, Bonnie McNairn. Ure Thrall is a proficient musician who releases music under his own name as well (and indeed, I shall proceed to listen to some of his solo albums as well as Voice Of Eye).
From what I understand after reading various sources and what Ure Thrall himself writes, the music was recorded between 1991-1993 but nothing was released until later, when Ure Thrall issues these recordings through his Discorporeality Recordings label.
The roots of Asianova can be found in Cruor, which started as the improvisational duo of Thrall and Jim Wilson in 1988. They were later joined in by Bonnie McNairn and Tim Sternat. However, as Ure Thrall's interests started shifting, the band dissolved, only to later reform as Esoterica Landscapes Seven. This incarnation didn't last, as it dissolved again, only to reappear as Voice Of Eye, but without Tim Sternat. During this time, Ure Thrall worked on his "intuitive compositional skills" and would occasionally jam with Voice Of Eye. In 1991, they would, along with Pamela Passmore, go into the studio to "record a lengthy series of improvised sessions". This would go on until 1993 and these were later released as the first Asianova CD and various cassettes. More sessions were recorded without Pamela, under the name Noctunre, only to later be assimilated into the Asianova repertoire.
I could go on, but you can read more here about their music, collaborations etc.
The two albums I own by Asianova, Among Grey Ghosts and Love Like a Veiled Threat, are some of the most psychedelic, trip-out, scary and out-of-this-world music I've heard. It's been a stunning experience listening to this late at night and early in the morning in the dark with headphones; the images that the music conjured in my mind could rival the scariest horror movies...
Love Like a Veiled Threat is a stunning piece, quite varied in the sounds they make. The group makes wonderful use of various instruments and sounds at their disposal. Above the drone and bleakness there are female vocalizations, percussion, keyboards, flute and woodwind (all quite subtle and used with a good measure). I highly recommend it to anyone into this style or who wants to have a very unique and tripping listening experience. If someone had wanted an example of what Dark Ambient sounds like, this album would be a great example to give.
Next on my list, would be to get the album, Burning The Blue Skies Black.
You can listen to samples here, here, here and here.