Minua are a Basel based trio comprised of Fabian Willmann (woodwinds), Kristinn Kristinsson (guitar, electronics) and Luka Aron (guitar, zither, modular synthesizer). They have released a new EP called Simulacra. According to the press release, It explores just tuning systems and alternate temperaments. Utilising various instruments like woodwinds, a modular synthesizer, a Bavarian zither or electric bass, the trio stretch barely song-like structures to their limits; the four pieces here move with glacial grandeur, their movement barely perceptible.
The first half of the record revolves around the element of air. The opening “Order of Instants” utilises layered woodwind instruments to create a harmonic space inspired by an 18th century temperament often used by organ tuners. “Final Service” is an ode to overtones and noise, fusing bass clarinets with modular synthesizer and processed electric bass to calming, slowly modulating effect.
The second half of the record shifts the trio’s focus to plucked instruments, but the pieces retain their slow-moving, monolithic character. “Sixfold Wilted Rose” features a Bavarian zither, unravelling its shimmering beauty on the bedrock of drone sounds like a rose blooming in parched soil, while the closing “Ascension Point” continues in a similar mood, a droning calmness underpinning the gentle electric guitar plucks.