Just AUM – Frozen EP (SR020)

Just AUM - Frozen EP

A frozen tree. Album art for Frozen, by Just AUM.

Artist: Just AUM
Title: Frozen EP
Label: Singulary Records
Cat#: SR020
Keywords: Ambient, Chillout, Downtempo, Experimental, Electronic, IDM
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

A 14-year-old girl from Volgograd, Russia made this. What have you done with your life?

Just kidding, of course, so don’t feel bad or down on yourself — she’s just very talented and this is just a really cool EP. 😉

I’m going to listen to it now and tell you what happens to me…

… first, on ‘Frozen Water’, I’m hit with a sensation of icy pools. Cracks form on the ice above a lake, mirrored in the sound, the vinyl crackles. Trickles of bells, icy pads. We hear a guitar, then there’s a sort of modern-electro microbeat that comes in, and acoustic guitar. The chords feel happy, then sad. I’m enjoying the bouncy, playfulness of the sound, how it flits between moods. It sounds very professional, studio-like. Bells glisten with a layer of frost while brittle acoustic guitar rings cold in the air. I’m enjoying the bass-synth sequences, too… they are digital; sounding thin and compressed. There’s something of the savant to this, or no… whatever the musicological equivalent of an auteur would be. Everything sounds, feels tightly controlled, every musical flourish sounds pre-thought, pre-figured, intellectualized.

Next is ‘Frozen Heart’. Beep beep, then some choirs, a very deep drum throb like a heartbeat. Lovely, airy pads creep up on us, some strings, including touches of electric guitar, more bells. This gets fun, sounding kind of electro-pop! Yeah! Very chill, too. So chilled it’s frozen on us. I imagine penguins dancing on ice cubes. It’s a mental image I will not soon forget. It reminds me a lot of a musicbox. Very nice, I think the melodies are endearing.

Then it’s ‘Frozen City’. More vinyl crackles, a shuffling background toy bell, wisps of city noises float in while a strange vocal sound sample calls out over the mix. The rhythm is more downtempo, but the melodies and sounds used still seem very playful. There’s an intensely modulated bass synth wobbling around. More bells and toyboxes. It’s as if it’s christmas all over again, I’m sure Phil Reynolds would love that. I’m really enjoying the diva samples that were thrown in!!! That really takes it to the next level. I don’t hear enough of that sort of thing in music anymore, particularly in music like this where it feels like it adds so much feeling.

Lastly, we come to ‘Frozen Space’ which features Pamer. There is some more crackling sounds, a bird maybe. Then, windchime-like noises… breathy pads, vocals… light ride cymbal fizzle, a rim. The rhythm comes in, it’s a bit more like a subdued electro shuffle. Floating voices embrace us in the deep cold of space while a horn dirge maybe slightly warms us, like ultra-violet radiation from the distant sun. I hear acoustic guitar, a bit of bass guitar as well, filtered piano possibly. Everything seems to brighten in an increasingly more dramatic way as the track moves. There are a couple notes here and there when the guitars scale down that bug me, but then the track ends and overall…

… the attention to detail and evocative, winter-wonderland feel of this EP are the things that stood out most to me. You should definitely give it an ear at the link below, it’s a lot of fun and the EP possesses some very worthwhile musical moments. Enjoy:

http://singulary.bandcamp.com/album/sr020-just-aum-frozen-ep

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