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Aes Dana

French electronic music producer Aes Dana creates a smooth and enveloping fusion of downtempo, IDM, ambient techno, and progressive trance, which he has released on numerous albums through his own Ultimae label. Born Vincent Villuis in Lyon, as a teenager in the '80s he sang and played bass in a number of coldwave and industrial bands, before turning his hand to electronic music production. In 1996, together with Charles Farewell, Villuis formed Asura, whose combination of ambient, world music, and psychedelic trance made them scene favorites. In the late '90s, together with Sandrine Gryson (Mahiane), he formed Ultimae as a record label and web shop to promote artists in the then-burgeoning "psybient" scene, releasing albums by the likes of H.U.V.A. Network, Solar Fields, Miktek, and Carbon-Based Lifeforms. Later the label went on to provide sound design, post-production, and mastering services, and opened a brick-and-mortar shop in 2009. Many of its latter releases were characterized by incredibly crisp, better-than-CD-quality 24-bit mastering and beautiful close-up nature photography. In 2001 Villuis left Asura to focus on his solo project, taking his stage name from the Áes Dána, the "people of the gift," the revered artisanal caste of ancient Ireland. (He is not to be confused with the French metal band of the same name.) The following year he released his first album under the moniker, Season 5. The album established the basic sound that he would go on to refine over the course of seven more albums during the next 20 years, all released on Ultimae: a lush, smooth combination of soothing ambient textures, psychedelic sounds, crisp beats, and incredibly immersive sound design. As time went on, he incorporated some neoclassical elements, and the more beat-driven parts of his work transitioned from trance towards techno. 2016's Far & Off was a collaboration with Miktek; 2012's superbly received Pollen was remastered and reissued in 2017. Inks, his seventh solo album and first in seven years, appeared in 2019.
© John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Discography

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