Aum - "Aum" (SMALAAUM 1998, 001)

From Aural Innovations #7 (July 1999)

This release is a little belated to be reviewed (it was recorded in August 1997, released in 1998) but the band deserve to be noticed! The band are considered by some to be the Belgian Ozric Tentacles equivalent. I think this is cutting the band a little short. The CD contains 5 psychedelic improvised pieces that do have a late 80's Ozrics feel to them. I understand that band have diversified now and have a full-time digerdoo player and flute/violin player, making the band a 6 piece. Neuro-Notes starts the CD off with some really spacey synth sounds that make you feel like you are in the corridor in a sci-fi film, before the drums slowly build up. This song has a distinct 80's HW feel and must be a great concert opener. Tibetan Bowls is the stand out track on the CD. The band gets into a long groove that is reminiscent of 'Space is their Palestine' by Hawkwind. Great song! In a World of Sorcery is next and is the most distinctly Ozrics like song, similar to stuff on Arborescence. Crystallized is where the band heads off into deep reggae dub space. I like this number a lot, especially the way the synth sort of oscillates through the track. Ololiuqui ends the CD and is pretty much a tribal drumming and drone song, not all that interesting. The CD feels all too short at 36 minutes and leaves you wanting more but I look forward to the band's next output.

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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