Aes Dana – Memory Shell

English / Polish version

Aes Dana - Memory Shell
    ULTIMAE RECORDS
    Aes Dana
    Memory Shell
    2004

      1. Chernozem [ 3.24 ]
      2. Iris rotation
      3. Dusts
      4. Opalin
      5. Memory shell (lost radio e-dit)
      6. Haze
      7. Shouting valley
      8. Cities update
      9. Sub morphing
      10. Grounds around
      11. Exposure (Aes Dana rmx)
      12. Chernozem

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‘The winds were blowing us towards here,
This fresh vareo shore where seaweeds stopped their caress.
Old sea echoes were spaced and distilled.
We have much to exchange my friend, Sand Traveller.
Take me in your hand and let me whisper.
You were my body, I’m still your memory.’

The shell at the bottom of the ocean, the shell lying on the seashore, the shell hanging on the wall of a seaside bar, the shell brought from holidays, adorning the window sill of some house. Every shell retains in its interior the memory of some man, an event, an unusual or quite common history. The shell catches every smile, joyful time, moments of emotions, but also of some breakdowns, sorrow, sense of meaninglessness. The shell is the first witness of the love found on holidays, the first approximation of the young people on a golden sandy beach, the happy talk of some elderly people who remember the wonderful life spent together. The shell lying motionless is not just a silent spectator, a good listener, but first and foremost it is a collector of human memories.

Probably Vincent Villuis could not have chosen a better, more suitable name for his third album, released in 2004 through Ultimae Records. In my opinion MEMORY SHELL is hiding an incredible bulk of memories in itself. Every next track of the album called MEMORY SHELL is summoning a new image from the past which seems to be unusually expressive, rich in associations, moving, very intense. I admit that for ages this album has been for me ‘the number one spot’ concerning the achievements of Vincent Villuis. There is nothing in it to what I could stick; every sound, instrument, vocal is drilling the hole in my head and it is remembered by my mind. Apart from the fact that it is remembered, it is arousing still the same strong emotions which I am not able to describe. Everything here from the very beginning to the last sound was precisely thought over, nothing is happening by chance. I appreciate such a composition of the album very much – it begins with the track called CHERNOZEM and ends with its shortened version. In this way, this album appears to be embraced with a buckle and it creates a hermetic whole. Certainly among the outstanding tracks there are some that without any hesitation could be called brilliant. CHERNOZEM is magical, fairy-tale; in it you can hear the splash of the water, the waves striking the rocks and the voice of a woman, who tells the story starting with the words: ‘It was raining in Vargo when we met the sandman on the border of the ocean.’ OPALIN is genious because a large force applied to the person listening is hidden in it; the track is full of energy, which falls gently under the skin and encourages to dance. HAZE is piercing my body, causing shivers on the back and it is very mysterious and I associate it with the semi-darkness. In the track called SHOUTING VALLEY I really hear the shouting valley; it is calling someone with a crying, sad voice. This track is stimulating the imagination. CITIES UPDATE as OPALIN causes that I have to get up from the chair and I start dancing. I must emphasize at this point that the other tracks are not worse than those I have mentioned, I simply wanted to identify those that act strongly on my musical imagination.

Two issues deserve a particular attention, first – the texts said in a few tracks by Mahiane or Pascale Auffret. As many as eight tracks on twelve contain some elements of a story which is spinning by some hypnotizing voices. Secondly it is simply absolutely necessary to watch the cover of MEMORY SHELLl, for me it is sensational. Mainly the graphics in the inside of the cover is blowing away – some trees, the grass shrouded with the fog and the dew, the ladybird climbing the blades of the grass, the cereal crop, the sea, some meadows, flowers and plenty of shells. On one of cards of the cover you can see a recording studio, and on the other one a photo of Vincent Villuis holding an object to which are attached (of course) some shells. Additionally inside the cover it is possible to find all texts which are turning up in the entire album.

When chasing every day, running from the work, school for the fast shopping, quick dinner, fast talks with the family and friends, fast bath, in the end sinking in the fitful sleep, we forget what good or bad happened in the past, whether of the one distant or close, the best thing to do is to put the MEMORY SHELL to the ear, and it will remind us of what fled from our mind.
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10 / 10
Kasia