Sunday, 17 July 2016

Oscillotron "Cataclysm" (2016)

Here's a tip on how to find music you like, stalk people! No, joking aside the way I discovered this record was by reading a review of another record I recently enjoyed. I thought "this person knows what they are talking about" and decided to look at other albums they had talked about. Despite being vastly different I found a string of records from the Pittsburgh electronic scene and this peach from Stockholm Sweden that demanded my attention. David Johansson is the one man band Oscilotron, an electronic artist, who composed and recorded these spectacular 40 minutes in its entirity.

Much like its bleak, pale and near greyscale album cover, the music conveys a timeless sense of scale and atmosphere through somewhat colorless electronic instruments. With dense waveform synths and textural sounds they harmonize without melody, illuminating with a cold, lifeless and spacious vibe capturing the essence of the void. Its not all about the empty vastness, moments of this record perk up into life with adventurous, quirky melodies yearning a sense of exploration, journey and destination. In the track listening between each eventful musical moment there are slower, drawn out atmospheric pieces painting vivid soundscapes of the nebula. Its closing track is rather chilling, a brooding atmosphere of tension and unnerve that winds down with a sense of dimming light, creeping out while staring fate in the eyes.

It neither starts or ends in a "happy place" and for the most part doesn't convey much direct emotion. Listening to this record one will feel like an observer, watching over travelers who eventually meet there doom. Being disconnected from them directly we are treated to a dense and scenic atmosphere that will let your imagination run wild. For the most part a selection of luscious synths drone out their textures with subtle shifts and minimal melodies. These eventually lead to grander moments where the baselines pick up a rhythm, the drums cautiously take command and the synths will evolve into sturdy melodies along with the inclusion of a few other instruments, sometimes pianos, organs or event what sounds like an overdrive guitar in one song.

"Cataclysm" is an impressive record. So precise and focused it is an expression executed with vision. Every inch of sound feels perfected aesthetically and in terms of musical satisfaction it brilliantly drifts in and out of its ambience to strike with engrossing moments of magic. Exceptional record, one I feel will be with me for years to come!

Favorite Songs: Twlight, Mutation
Rating: 9/10