AUA – ‘I Don’t Want It Darker’ | Album Review

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AUA’s new album I Don’t Want It Darker is out now via Crazysane Records.

From Leipzig, Germany comes a lo-fi-krautrock-electronica duo AUA with their debut “I Don’t Want It Darker”. It’s plenty dark and right up our space-loving alley.

I wish it were enough to label it krautrock and for that to make a lot of sense, but today nothing is as simple as it could be. This album seems to tackle the issue. It explores the bareness of sound and simple structures one can make with a couple of different frequencies. It’s not pumped up with volume or console gimmicks. It’s not pumped up at all. That’s why both boredom and addictiveness are realistic options in this listening experience. It really depends on your mood and state of mind.

These kinds of sonic events usually either grab you on the first listening or take a really long time to sink in. I remember having a similar experience with Public Service Broadcasting a few years back. They grabbed me by the first, but my friends had extremely different impressions. Some, of course, hated it. I believe they would feel the same about AUA. It’s not a particularly musical form of music, isn’t it? Why call it music at all? My only problem with this sound is that it wears out easily. Still, I understand how it’s briefness might make the whole thing meaningful beyond the initial intention.

There’s a lot of Neu! in this, so… nothing new. Still, there’s a lot to find here, especially if you’re a filmmaker searching for the right soundtrack to your Sci-Fi love story. The cosmic quality of repetitive drumming, soft synths and surf guitars really makes a great background. That’s not necessarily a compliment, but I’m sure these guys are aware of it. There is a community out there, I’m not a part of it, but I know it’s there, that is really into emotionally repressed music that makes a great companion to movies influenced or made by David Lynch.

For all of you searching for the feels, I’m sure you’re going to find it here as well, that’s what you do. The subtle references to Cohen or Radiohead don’t go unnoticed. The whole album stinks of a breakup. And space. That’s a cool combo because nothing feels lonelier than being with a person you once loved and knowing that you’ll never have the chance to love them the same way again, in space. Space makes everything seem big. The sadness of cosmonauts is something us romantics can’t get enough of. Gravity makes everything heavy. Ah.

The album opener is something I can imagine Doctor Who listening to on the day he makes prank calls to Special Agent Fox Mulder. The title song digs deeper into the sadness and hypnotic repetitiveness. By the time ‘Coke Diet’ starts you’re already hooked, you’re in the Upside Down and although it feels like nostalgia, you’re willing to pretend it’s here and now that matters. This song is also their first single. My pick for the second one would be ‘The Energy Vampire’. It can hit the nerves you have forgotten. If you’ve gotten to this point, you probably like the album or maybe it’s starting to feel tiresome. It’s not a very long album, but it can seem that way.

Last but not least, as is typical of modern electronica acts, AUA has a great visual identity created by Mihailo Kalabić and Fabian Bremer. It’s very Martian. This album gives you not only the original soundtrack but also a colour palette you can use. I hope it will reach the right crowd.

Order the album via Bandcamp.

Find AUA on Facebook and Instagram.

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