K.K. Null & James Plotkin – Aurora

Originally released in 1994 on the legendary Sentrax label, then remastered and reissued in 1996 by Rawkus Records, Aurora is one of my favorite experimental ambient albums of the 90s.

Unlike a lot of guitar-based ambient music out there these days, Aurora doesn’t focus on pretty, easily identifiable melodies and instrumental post-rock pieces. Instead, it’s abstract and uncomfortable, though it does have its moments of beauty.

Various sonic elements are used throughout such as rumbles, shifting drones, springing sounds, backwards loops, echoes, chiming, industrial clanks, deep bass loops, bell-like tones, squealing electronics, watery sounds, churning noises, high-pitched crashes and pulses, plucked strings, distorted washes, metallic scraping and so on. All of this adds up to an intense ambient experience.

If you are looking for a straightforward album of guitar instrumentals, this might not be for you. If you want to dive a bit deeper into the world of guitar-based ambient, I highly recommend this album.

Aurora is currently out of print but may be found on Discogs.


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