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Molnija Aura – Utopian Suns

Molnija Aura - Utopian Suns

CD, Topheth prophet, 2011

“Molnija Aura is an electronic ambient/glitch project of Davide Del Col and Andrea Marutti from Milan, Italy.” This is taken literally from the press release, and I agree with all of you that an opening sentence couldn’t have been any more plain than this. But there is something in that line that made me reconsider writing it a few times…
Andrea Marutti is the man behind the Afe Records label, which I’ve known for quite some time now. Next to that he is active as a musician under several names (Afeman, Amon, Lips Vago, Never Known and Spiral) and in several other projects (Hall of Mirrors, Maribor, Meerkat and Sil Muir). Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing “Detrimental Dialogue” by Andrea Marutti and Fausto Balbo and, while listening to “Utopian Suns”, I realized that Molnija Aura is much more a two-person project with a very impressive symbiotic energy as opposed to a collaboration between two persons, each doing his own thing and making a whole of two parts.
This six-tracker plays a little over an hour and there is not a dull moment in there. Not for droners, as there is a continuous flow and enough to explore in the many layers of each composition, but also not for the average ambient adept. Each track is long enough to stay interesting for the minimalist, but changes quickly enough for listeners who need a bit more variation. Inspiring titles like “Channels of Anxiety”, “Minimum Pulsar Luminosity” and “Tidal Disruption” give you enough information to let your mind flow out and be elsewhere.
The sounds on this album are thickly layered and very well accomplished given their respective places in the frequency spectrum. What is audible is clearly there, but in the same way, that which needs to be hidden remains hidden. Or – as with the sub-low in “Channels of Anxiety” – the sounds are only audible at moments when they should be heard.
The black&white cover shows a satellite, and parts of the satellite are covered over the pages of the booklet. Very nice considering the science-fiction theme of the album, as well as the endlessness the music delivers. A quote that would fit this release very well would be, “Turn on, tune in, drop out”. But it’s up to you to explore that world beyond this one. I can only say that I’ve been there and the way back here was long…


— Bauke van der Wal

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