[Reviewed by stark]
It’s like moving in time and space, listening to this album. It is so cold and depressing here in Poland these days and while I recently enjoyed a lot of interesting sounds, I stopped believing that music – excluding few timeless classics – may be a soul healer. Yet I stumbled upon “Music for Certain Rituals” by AimA and The Illusion Of Silence, I listened to it once, twice… a dozen times. Not even because it is a groundbreaking release in terms of crossing boundaries or exploring new territories, but because I feel happy while dealing with this music. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s such a positive and fun ritual which purpose is to improve your mood. I’m happy because it transports me somewhere else, to the ancient Southern Europe. Such a relief and a deep breath of fresh air which I can finally take while drinking red wine and turning my face towards the sun.
You may know Aima from various projects such as Les Jumeaux Discordants which released two albums for (much regretted) Athanor Records or her collaboration with Allerseelen which doesn’t require further introduction.
We were already hosting The Illusion Of Silence in the past, I think about four or five years ago on the occasion of “Black Rainbow” review. “Music for Certain Rituals” cannot be compared to “Black Rainbow” though, Luca’s earlier music was focused more on the neoclassical aspect, while “Music for Certain Rituals” is more ambient and… well, ritual oriented, so the compositions’ structures may seem less sophisticated than before, stripped of the ornamentations that have their origin in the history of music from the ancient times up until now, but it is all subordinated to the idea of the album.
So the concept is referring to the traditions of Orphism, which is a set of Greek and Thrakian beliefs referring to the cult of Dionysos. This movement was supposedly deriving from Orpheus and his works. The main idea of Orphism was the belief that the soul is superior over the body. And the music is so adequate, it is as if you’d blend Alio Die with Dead Can Dance. They make good use of the instrumentation, I especially love how the zither sounds. The soothing drones make you feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the sublime vocal parts by Aima add a significant sense of solemnity to the music. The colour of her voice is beautiful and recognizable. If you liked her work on Les Jumeaux Discordants albums, you’re in a very familiar place. It is a profound but peaceful ritual, it may seem exotic at first, but after a while you realize that this is our European heritage.
A very beautiful album, you may feel like you’re somewhere else for this 45 minutes. And musical escapism is always priceless.