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‘You Stood Up For Victory, We Stood Up For Less’ sees A-Sun Amissa moving in a more dense direction, the drones are heavier, the sound thicker and with the added bass-clarinet of Gareth Davis there a new slightly darker jazz element now to the music.
The two tracks were conceived initially as two drone guitar pieces, following that, work was done on the composition and atmosphere of the tracks adding the bass-clarinet, viola, vocals, field recordings and piano. The finished works produce an unsettling but hypnotic listen with melodies moving in and out of the mix throughout these two pieces.
"Let's take a moment to admire that fine, fine title. What's more, it's a thing of beauty. Across two tracks, the record meanders not down many tributaries as their last release (reviewed in this very column) did, but through the different forms of one great long expanse – chopped in the middle. This, of course, implodes in on itself with a whimper, not a bang. It's a glorious whimper that stretches itself out until the very last breath. It wouldn't feel right any other way." [The 405]
“Oh great, a record I really like that’s damned difficult to write about. Still, let’s try. This, A Sun Amissa’s second LP, is a superb symphonic piece, very much like a Rhys Chatham bliss-out and also similar to The Flowers of Hell’s magnificent ‘0’ from a few years back. We get two long tracks, each around 15 minutes. Part One is a magisterial, clear-eyed drone - utilising that brilliant sound that only massed guitar strumming effects can give when set delicately in the middle distance of a track - one that also manages to float around in an unruffled manner like a barrage balloon on a hot day.” [Incendiary]
“Those eager to expand the often slightly bleaker, semi-orchestrated collection of drone records on their shelves should seek this out.” [Fluid Radio]
“the band’s best work to date, the final four minutes its best segment. It’s post-rock, it’s jazz, it’s modern composition; it’s the gnarled mirror image of the band’s previous work, a bold experiment that few would attempt. We admire A-Sun Amissa for choosing the road less traveled” [A Closer Listen]
“A-Sun Amissa have released an important second album, marking them as a serious outfit to be followed.” [Future Sequence]
“In a style comparable to the grandaddy of post-rock, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but with an ambient twist of sonic atmospheres and jazz inflections, A-Sun Amissa explores the progressive world of drones and instrumental intricacy. You Stood Up For Victory, We Stood Up For Less is a soundscape that comes alive in colour and feeling of emotion. It moves through dynamic lows and highs, explores the intensity of sound, and is a stunning creation of musical intimacy." [Echoes & Dust]
“The rich tones of the underlying drones may be warm, but there’s a chill to the brittle, echoey guitar that chimes over the top. Piano notes hover like droplets of water… swells to a sandstorm of sound, overwrought sax / woodwind twisted slow jazz... it’s all blended together magnificently: nothing stands out as incongruous, there are no seams or sharp edges, and the expansive sound envelops the listener, releasing them back to the real world only after the music ends and silence returns.”
8/10 [Whisperin & Hollerin]