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Music Review

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Artist: Au.Ra
Label: Felte
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 June 2017

Originating in Sydney and now split between the UK and Australia, Au.Ra is the musical pairing of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles. As previous projects came to an end (Parades/Ghostwood), the pair began making music together in 2011 - improvised long sessions that consisted only of a drum machine and two guitars. They released their debut album, Jane’s Lament, in 2015. In the Summer of 2015 and ‘16, they holed up in Sydney’s 301 Studios for ten days to record their second album Cultivations...

Cultivations is a slow burner. It's doubtful that you'll embrace it on the first few times you play it. But stick with it as the rewards are worth it. The 10 songs (39 min, 22 sec) are up and down. One minute I was loving what they were delivering, other times less so. It's certainly a release that offers a lot of variety and this is both its strength and weakness. It's unlikely that you'll enjoy the entire album.

There's an '80s vibe that permeates the tracks, but it's like listening to music of that era in a half dreamlike state. The instrumental 'Dreamwork' closes the album with a hypnotic beauty and left me wanting more. I was also impressed by 'Above The Triangle (ii)' and 'Set the Scene'.

While I enjoyed it, on the whole, it's very unlikely I'll be digging this out again in months to come, let alone years. It's an enjoyable offering, but it's one for now. You probably won't revisit this in the future.


Nick Smithson

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