[sic] Magazine

A-Sun Amissa – Desperate in Her Heavy Sleep

A-Sun Amissa is the latest guise /project for Gizeh Records head, Richard Knoz . Gizeh is one of my favourite labels. Yet timing, bad luck or other forces usually conspire to prevent me from reviewing their releases. In many cases I buy the records which means they are added to my personal collection and not the ever precarious review stack.

Having already thrilled us with Glissando (another Knoz vehicle) Her Name Is Calla and the totally unique Farewell Poetry , Gizeh is on an upward curve. Knox and Co hold steadfast to their DIY ideals in a thus far unconflicted manner, given the strong brand identity that the label is forging for ambient releases of weight and authenticity. A-Sun Amissa deal in brooding, reverberated strings. This is serious stuff. Not po-faced, but rather a dedicated professionalism akin to This Will Destroy You or even Dead Can Dance .

Desperate in Her Heavy Sleep is a post-rock symphony. (Actually as it uses orchestration we can’t call it post-rock, technically. But they do use guitars, so we can! Why split hairs anyway? It’s only a peg for newcomers to hang their coat on.) This record ebbs and flows like a sinister tide. It could be Unknown Pleasures , re-imagined by Godspeed You! Black Emperor . Where the Canadians #a#(infinity) evoked blasted US deserts and canyons, Desperate in Her Heavy Sleep shifts us to a more urban dystopia. Here we’re sheltering under a concrete underpass where glitches crackle like the fires of the homeless.

The repetitive nature of dronescape and indeed of symphonies generally should not dissuade anyone from Desperate in Her Heavy Sleep . The mood maybe – the whole thing has a sense of weary inevitability – but not the music. If you carry an already heavy heart to this album you might find the resulting burden too unmanageable. If you’re of healthy mind and in the mood for some serious chin-stroking, grab your copy of Vermilion Sands and pop this in your player. (Un)easy does it. This is superior stuff indeed.

A-Sun Amissa at Gizeh