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Progressive Electronic • Japan

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Aube biography
Aube is a solo project formed by the Japanese electronic artist and sound sculptore Nakajima Akifumi. He is specialised in propulsive noisy (droney) electronics, using a lof of harsh distortion, freakout effects, artisanal / alchemical sounds taken from various sources. Aube has a huge catalogue but also collaborated with many notorious artists as Maurizio Bianchi and Maso Yamazaki of Masonna. Extreme, sonic music but pretty excellent.

Flood Gate (1993)
Magnetostric (1995)
Infinitely Orbit (1996)
Metal de Metal (1996)
Dazzle Reflexion (1997)
Cardiac Strain (1997)
Stared Gleam (1997)
Evocation (1998)
Substructural Penetration (1998)
Millennium (2000)
Sensorial Inducement (2000)
Set On (2000)
Solide Pressure (2000)
Traid Thread (2000)

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AUBE Videos (YouTube and more)

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Buy AUBE Music

Blood Brain BarrierBlood Brain Barrier
Audio CD$17.99
$8.00 (used)
Aube - Monochordattune / Attune - Lp Vinyl RecordAube - Monochordattune / Attune - Lp Vinyl Record
Gender-Less Kibbutz
Vinyl$10.00 (used)
Chemical Brothers by AubeChemical Brothers by Aube
Audio CD$166.60
Metal De Metal by Aube (1996-09-16)Metal De Metal by Aube (1996-09-16)
Manifold Records
Audio CD$646.24
Reworks Stefano Genti. by AubeReworks Stefano Genti. by Aube
Audio CD$62.30
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AUBE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

AUBE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
3.50 | 2 ratings
3.50 | 2 ratings
Flood Gate
2.00 | 2 ratings
2.67 | 3 ratings
Purification To Numbness
2.50 | 2 ratings
3.50 | 2 ratings
2.50 | 2 ratings
Emotional Oscillation
3.50 | 2 ratings
Frequency For Collapse
2.50 | 2 ratings
Entangle Spirant
3.50 | 2 ratings
3.50 | 2 ratings
2.22 | 4 ratings
Wired Trap
3.50 | 2 ratings
2.00 | 3 ratings
Infinitely Orbit
2.50 | 2 ratings
Grind Carve
1.14 | 3 ratings
Metal De Metal
2.33 | 3 ratings
Aqua Syndrome
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sigh In Depressive Blue
2.00 | 1 ratings
Vas In Euthymic Violet
3.33 | 3 ratings
Dazzle Reflection
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stared Gleam
1.00 | 1 ratings
Cardiac Strain
2.00 | 1 ratings
Cerebral Disturbance
2.00 | 1 ratings
1.00 | 1 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Pages From The book
2.00 | 1 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sensorial Inducement
2.91 | 3 ratings
Howling Obsession (Revised
2.00 | 1 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Imagery Resonance
2.22 | 7 ratings
Variable Ambit

AUBE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AUBE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AUBE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AUBE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

AUBE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wired Trap by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.22 | 4 ratings

Wired Trap
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The liner notes proudly announce: 'Wired Trap uses only the sounds of the steel wire'. Therefore I understandably had serious reservations before listening to this in '95. I've always bought anything and everything that was off-the-wall and unusual. Back then I was more scatter-gun in approach and ended up with this...

Each of the four tracks display a screeching, wailing cacophony of metallic wire, fed through various oscillators, effect units and analogue processors. It's surely one of the least tuneful recordings ever admitted to the Archives. I'm sure Akifumi Nakajima would be proud of this incongruity . 'Wired Trap' is similar in sound to to 'Merzbow', 'Incapacitants', 'Hanatarash', 'Hijokaidan' and 'KK Null'.

It's strange that such a civilised and well off nation as Japan should produce so many of these types of artists. In a way you can see the initial germ in the form of 'Les Rallizes Denudes' from the early 70's - with their monstrously tuneless and highly treated electric guitars.

The lengthy opener grows more intense as it continues - a bit like the sound of a dentist's drill piercing ever deeper and harder into the patients by now, broken teeth. I honestly can't see this appealing to anyone in the Prog Archives who is of a musical persuasion, but in a way I'm glad it's listed here. Just as an annoyance and irritant. Today is the first time in ten years that I've actually dusted the disc down and played it in full - just to remind myself that I've really bought a lot of garbage through the years.

'Siege' has a looped scrape that sounds like someone rubbing two metal drill-bits together as quiet droning fumble around in the background. The loops become thicker and denser towards it's 10 minute finale and an angry 'Evil Dead' sound in the form of a Formula One racing car revving it's engine.

By God, this is heavy going! One good use of 'Wired Trap' would be as fight-back music to annoying neighbours. Play this at high volume and they'd think they have a serial killer in their vicinity. It's hard to believe there's actually a market for this, despite mugs like me helping the cause.

To give them their due, 'Aube' at least have an original approach. Most of their albums are studio manipulations of a particular sound, be it steel wires, book pages, stones, bulbs, brain waves and heartbeats. At least give them the effort for trying. As for me, I think I'd rather hammer my tongue wafer thin with a wooden mallet than listen to this again.

Japanese noise is in a genre of its own and is most definitely NOT recommended to any 'Prog Archive' adventurer.

 Metal De Metal by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 1996
1.14 | 3 ratings

Metal De Metal
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars I believe Aube is simply designed to generate atmosphere. Aube is a non music artist Akifumi Nakajima who uses electronic sounds to generate creepy intense atmospheres. If that's what you are after you are going to love it. Play it at midnight and it might conjure up dark nightmares. There is no music to speak of, simply high pitched sonic distortion. The title track begins with a high pitched whine that I had to turn down as it was actually earsplitting. The gradual ascending whine is ear piercing.

At times we have a minimalist drone that builds slowly with painfully sustained grinds, it builds in intensity, louder and more defined, then it just ends without warning without any variation and no rhythm or time sig or any semblance of musical tones. Strictly for those who enjoy the noise genre.

 Variable Ambit by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.22 | 7 ratings

Variable Ambit
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars I'm a noise fan.

Just thought I'd say that before I ramble.

Not many can handle the pure walls of noise that for me creates a really beautiful sort of texture that is unreachable otherwise. Artists like Aube and Merzbow (both Japanese artists, I might add) are excellent in the art of manipulating noise and creating some really great music that, despite it's aggressiveness, I find very listenable.

Now this Aube album turned even me off in the start with those high static pitches in the beginning, but that is nowhere near the best part of the album. It's a shame, really, starting off that badly. That's the kind of noise that just gives me a headache. After the first track, the rest of the album is much more gentle (if you can call it that) and enjoyable. Aube is amazing when it comes to production and it shows, the Merzbow-like sounds are what make up the rest of the album.

For the brave of heart, and the first track needs to be skipped.

3 stars.

 Variable Ambit by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.22 | 7 ratings

Variable Ambit
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

1 stars In Violation of the Geneva Conventions

Like Conor, I found my way to this album on its reputation as one of the worst ever. Before anyone even attempts to play this piece, I'd like to provide some idea of what it is. Variable Ambit is a sonic experiment where artist Akifumi Nakajima twiddles with what sounds like a frequency generator for about an hour. Rather than using the pure oscilloscope wave forms, he uses a specific sampled source sound for each record. On VA it's feedback. If you've ever had a hearing test and listened as the examiner dials through the frequencies, that's the basic sound of the album. Some degree of layering does occur, and some effects are applied, but for the most part this is collection of pure tones manipulated for emotional effect without anything resembling traditional music.

Nakajima actually does a few moderately interesting things with his frequency designs, and some of those ideas are better on VA than other albums of his I sampled. However, this album has a specific quality that makes it perhaps a perfect weapon of torture. While the artist does cover the frequency spectrum to some degree, for some reason he concentrates on the 5000- 15000 hz range which is at the upper limit of older human's hearing. Even 5000 hz is high enough to sound like a whistle, and Aube keeps this frequency range at high volume throughout much of the album. While there's no accounting for taste, I think that most people find these tones noxious, if not downright painful. The mix is such that in order to bring the whistles down to non-painful levels, everything else drops out. Careful use of a graphic equalizer might help, but that assumes the listener is interested enough in the sound experiment to put that much work in.

If you like noise experiments, the parts without the whistle register tones are mildly interesting. I could see them being used in a trippy horror movie. But even then, there's not really enough going on to merit listening to this on its own. Its only possibly function (in my mind) would be as a soundtrack to some un-named activity or other experimental art piece.

I actually would have rated this 2/5 without the pain part. But it was EXTREMELY hard to listen to this album all the way through. I did it. It was like a sonic uphill marathon. I may actually try rate some of Aube's other work above 1 star, but this one will be only for enemies.

 Variable Ambit by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.22 | 7 ratings

Variable Ambit
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This newly released album by Aube is jam packed full of alienating discomfort. Fortunately, I kind of like it. I've been a fan of other Japanese noise artists (Merzbow, Masonna, etc.) for some time now, and Aube is always an interesting listen. This album, Variable Ambit, is not far off from other albums in the noise genre, but it comes of as a bit subdued when compared to albums that are being released by Aube's contemporaries.

The sound of this album is often earsplitting. I would believe that just about any other human on this planet has an evolutionary response to shun anything that sounds like the music present on this album. But, if you can get past that response, the earsplitting ambience and drones are quite pleasant. If you've ever been in a silent room all by yourself, and suddenly your ears start to ring and everything else around you seems only slightly louder (dripping sink, oscillating of a fan, ticking of a clock, etc.) then you'll understand the sound of this album. The resonating and echoing qualities of this album give it an eerie industrial kind of feel that is actually very refreshing, since Merzbow tends to be full-force train-wreck soundtracks. The Kiyoshi Kurosawa film Kairo (a.k.a. Pulse, here in the states), though I don't recall the sound of the soundtrack, I would imagine would be greatly paired with this album for its ghostly and computerized/industrialized manipulations of terror and insanity.

Maybe this review doesn't make this album sound pleasant at all, but I'm sure fellow noise fans will understand my position. I'll be honest, the first few seconds made me believe that Variable Ambit was going to be completely unbearable. I figured that the earsplitting demonic zap at the album's start was a precursor to complete brain-scrambling frequencies, and I need my brain, me being a very serious student. Fortunately, this album is just as enjoyable as my favorite noise albums, and has definitely become one of my favorites. This isn't very accessible by any means, but again, I'm sure other noise fans will find much to love about this noisy album.

 Variable Ambit by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.22 | 7 ratings

Variable Ambit
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 'Variable Ambit' - Aube (1/10)

Be it some sort of oddly morbid fascination, but on top of striving to find the best music out there, I also find myself attracted to albums that are universally panned and considered the 'worst'. It is indeed interesting how everyone may own a different set of ears, but when it comes down to it, we can agree on some things generally speaking. Yes' 'Close To The Edge' is a masterpiece of prog rock, Iron Maiden's 'Number Of The Beast' is a classic for heavy metal, and so forth. But perhaps for the same psychological reasoning that made Rebecca Black's 'Friday' such a hit, I've found myself drawn towards Aube's 'Variable Ambit', an album that was described to me by a new friend as one of the worst things imaginable. While there are albums like 'St. Anger' that people love to hate most often, I get the feeling after even sampling what 'Variable Ambit' is all about that it may very well not only be one of, but the most unpleasant album I have ever heard. I wish I was joking.

First, it should be covered that I am not opposed to 'noise' music, there is some that I actually like quite a bit. Ambient music is also no problem for me. However, when music literally causes physical duress while listening to it, there can be a problem. Aube opens up this album with one of the most cringing sounds I have ever heard; a high pitched beep that was physically painful to hear regardless of how low I turned the volume down. The first three seconds of 'Variable Ambit' should cover why I hate this. While even one high pitched electronic bleep would have put me off the album for good, the sound keeps repeating; getting more painful as your ears beg you to mute it.

To prove that I have in fact listened to the album (and am sorely regretting it), the title track 'Variable Ambit' and 'Ambush' are the two tracks which feature this high pitched bleeping the most, and regardless of how open your mind is to music, the sheer frequency may result in a migraine, so you are warned. Apart from that, there is some electronic ambiance of a lower register that is nothing pleasant to listen to, but is at least interesting in the way the sound is tweaked and mechanized. A droning hum that the noise musician here noodles around with can make some pretty strange sounds here, but there is the feeling that there was absolutely no purpose to what he is doing here, instead tending to fiddle around with his equipment seemingly at random. While that would be worth saying some negative things about in the first place, it seems like gold when compared to the dreaded bleeps. And while it would often be narrow to focus on one sound in reviewing an album, that's what composes much of the album's sound.

If five seconds of this album could cause me pain, then I could never recommend this to anyone, not even an intense fan of noise music. Calling this album horrible stops becoming a matter of personal taste once the sounds start damaging one's hearing range. Perhaps the album can be used as some rite of initiation in the Yakuza to make sure only the strong are admitted into their ranks. Atrociously bad.

 Howling Obsession (Revised by AUBE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.91 | 3 ratings

Howling Obsession (Revised
Aube Progressive Electronic

Review by thellama73
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Nakajima Akifumi is a Japanese noise artist who specializes in drawing a wide variety of sounds from a single original source. In this case, that source is a small speaker, from which he has managed to craft an entire album of diverse sounds. As the title indicates, this is a reworking of an earlier release and adds a twenty-three minute live performance to the original tracklist.

The title track begins with the low drone of speaker hum, fading slowly up from silence until it approaches a roar. This is actually a very atmospheric recording, and almost gives the impression of an audio landscape. The persistant hum is intruded upon by slashing crackles of static and low rumbloing feedback, resulting in a rather moody and mysterious sound enviroment. Considering the limited nature of the inputs, it's a very well composed track, and the highlight of the album. After seventeen minutes of this, a short piece cnsiting mainly of clicking provides a nice intermisson before the album's other lengthy piece, "M.O.L."

"M.O.L." is much more aggressive in its approach, consisting mainly of blistering noise broken up by high pitched shrieks and squeals. The beleagured speaker is pushed to its breaking point, growling like an angry Harley Davidson in need of an oil change. It's enjoyable, but perhaps less artful in its execution that what came before. The final track of the original release lasts a mere fve minutes and employs filters to create a slow sweeping effect up and down the frequency range. It's uneventful, but a nice comedown after the intensity of the preceeding track.

Finally, the bonus live track, also titled "Howling Obsession" bears little overt resemblence to its namesake. It uses the same sound source, and slowly evolves over its twenty-three minute length from quiet drones and whines to more intense fare. There are even a few basic rhythms subtly included from time to time. The piece is sprawling and impressive in its dversity, but it is improvised and it shows. The carefully crafted compositions on the album proper differ markedly from this freewheeling exploration of the speaker.

For fans of noise, Aube certainly offers some interesting moments. His single source approach is fascinating, but the result of such self-imposed limitations are at times less consistant than comparable works of other noise artists, such as Merzbow.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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