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MP3 Au - Alchimia

Progressive Electronica

8 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Trip Hop, ELECTRONIC: Experimental

After some years in the legendary historical ensemble Ars Ultima, with cutting edge music- dance- and percussion performances the band Au has finally emerged. Playing their own weirdly beautiful music.

Tängman-electric hurdy gurdy, sampler, zarb & electronics.
Anna Sandberg-song, recorders, rauschpfeife
Tomas Ekenman-bass

Location: Stockholm , Sweden & Kopenhagen, Denmark

Style: "Alchemical Progressive Electronica"

Lyrics: Medieval alchemical manuscript from year 400 to 1600.


"There should be no doubt that the members know what they are doing after the live gig in the radio.(Mix: Swedish national music broadcast) Now Ars Ultima is ready to conquer the world"
Reidar Sjödén, Lira (SE)

"Viking ravers with a fetish for Arabic music lay down trance-inducing hurdy-gurdy drones over a steady electronic pulse. The perfect come-down from a long night of pillaging."
Doug Russel, https://www.tradebit.com (US)

"Shawm, recorder, hurdy gurdy and Persian hand drum are just a few of the magnificent instruments that help to construct Ars Ultima''s unique world of music. It''s engaging and exuberant, flourishing with musical thought and innovation.
Having built such a sound from simple traditional instrumentation is an amazing and inspirational task."
https://www.tradebit.com, may, -00 (US)

"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."
Martijn van Gessel
GRUIS, (NE). 2002

"Ars Ultima is a medieval project group that has been
active for the past 7 years with music and dance
performances. From this group the band Au has now been formed, consisting of Anna Sandberg, Tängman and Tomas Ekenman.
Their debut album "Alchímía" is lyricwise based on old alchemical texts which have been adapted
by Anna Sandberg in English, German and Latin. This is something I appreciate since there are very few bands today who put much work into their https://www.tradebit.com musical roots of Au lie in traditional folk / medieval music but this album is far from being traditional.
Instruments like flutes and zarb can be heard but the
music is also very electronic with plenty of samples and weird rhythms.
The vocals are taken care of by Anna Sandberg who has a very strong voice that sometimes unfortunately is a little eye-soaring in my opinion. In short this is the type of folk music that would definitely fit in on a rave party.
It is a very unusual release and I must admit that I have never heard anything like this before which is a good thing. A good solid debut album from an interesting band but it is a tiny bit too psychedelic for my taste I''m afraid.
Recommended for fans of The Third And The Mortal and similar bands who don''t mind a medieval touch.
I would have preferred more melody and less ambient stuff myself but it''s definitely not a bad release
Stand-out tracks: "Väinämöinen"." (7/10)"
Vincent Eldefors
Tartarean Desire

"In a way ''Au'' is a very different band, in another way thery''re not. Just the thought of mixing electronic music with folk music is, of course, from the beginning very original, but seems to be a "thing" these days. ''Hedningarna'' started their experiments with this a few years ago and other groups like ''Garmarna'' and ''Sorten Muld'' have followed in their path. The music of these three bands differ from each other and ''Au'' is now developing the merger between traditional and modern dito further.
Unlike for example the above mentioned ''Sorten Muld'' ''Au'' makes music that is completely filled with sounds from different instruments although mostly from synthiseizers. Dont think for a minute that this is a bad thing. The three members manage unbelievably well to weave all the elements together in a perfect blend and songs like ''168'' and ''Salomon'' almost makes you fall into trance. The lyrics are taken from different times and places. ''Elements'' is for example an ecxerpt from a text by the alchemist and physicist Simon Forman who lived in the 16:th century while ''Tabula Smaragdina'' was written as early as the 9:th century.
''Au'' has succeeded in the difficult task of creating a very good mix of old and new, traditional and modern. The result is an almost 70 minutes long great record."
Martin Engström, X3M!ST,
(SE), 2002

"Das aus Schweden sehr innovative Musik kommt, ist weitestgehend bekannt, aber „alchemical dance beat" war auch mir vorher unbekannt. Unternehmen wir einmal den Versuch einer Beschreibung: Elegischer Frauengesang (ENYA-mässig) trifft auf elektronischen Unterbau und folkloristisch gefärbte Melodien (á la HOVEN DROVEN). Dabei werden eine Unmenge unkonventioneller Instrumente von Flöte bis Hurdy Gurdy eingesetzt. Ein Hurdy Gurdy ist übrigens ein Streichinstrument mit zusätzlichen Tasten, welches zweihändig gespielt wird.

AU nannten sich früher ARS ULTIMA und einige Lieder auf dieser wunderschön gestalteten Digi-CD resultieren auch noch aus dieser Schaffensphase. Interessanterweise stammen sämtliche Texte aus mittelalterlichen Quellen von Alchimisten (Rawlin, Forman, Scot), die neu aufbereitet wurden, auch deutsche Lyrics sind dabei.

Die Musik entspannt ungemein und entführt den Hörer auf eine Reise in die unendliche Weite Skandinaviens. Mir fällt als Vergleich „Tuonela" von AMORPHIS ohne den Metalanteil und mit weiblicher Stimme ein. Auch Fans von TENHI sollten ein Ohr riskieren und somit verleihe ich AU den aufregenden Status eines Geheimtipps...."
Sista S, https://www.tradebit.com 2003

"The Swedish multi group ranges from the medieval marketplace with musical juggling- to the sounds and rhythms of the future. Timeless, global, fascinating and scary."
KIK Copenhagen (DK)

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