mercredi 24 août 2011

OZONE PLAYER: Long-Range Influence (2011)

Delicate arpeggios waddle innocently beneath breaths of varied flutes and swirl as a carousel on "Sapphire 12" opening. The rhythm is curt and drummed by fine percussions which support its keys which sound like a xylophone of carnival; whereas "Sapphire 12" continues its spiral to sound as a strange minimalist bed song being situated between the borders of the twilight zone and a children's story. Quixotic violins surround these naughty ritornellos to fly up in the air with sulphurous and fluid violin momentums. Horns come and "Sapphire 12" loses its innocence while percussions fall along with guitar notes to mould a curious western ride. Between the minimalist and melodious structures of Mike Oldfield and the orchestral and progressive rock of King Crimson, Alan Parsons and Mike Batt, Long-Range Influence presents 13 disconcerting tracks which amaze as much that they bewitch.
Long-Range Influence is this new musical adventure of Ozone Player, the musical project of the audacious and talented Otso Pakarinen, a Finland musician who likes to create a music which escapes any styles and musical tag. It’s also the fruit of collaboration between the American science fiction writer and comic book artist Matt Howarth and the Finnish multi-instrumentalist. Matt created a graphic story picturing a future space mission investigating a distant planet that turns out to be inhabited by sentient life forms. Following this thematic, Otso weaved a musical soundtrack with incredibly syncretic arrangements where merge space music, eclectic progressive and experimental rock, world and classical music, synth-pop as well as movie music. Moreover, there is a strong influence of themes music from television series of the 60’s and 70’s throughout Long-Range Influence and there is a PDF guide (on the CD) that will guide you better and located sources and avenues.
The music? It’s as simply brilliant as delirious with all those styles which become entangled on percussions, curt and jerky keyboard keys ringing as crystalline xylophone hits and "Sapphire 12" starts quite well the party. Between synth-pop and classical eclectic rock, "The Jolly Rolly" offers a beautiful fluid structure where the rhythms vary on great arrangements and rich tones, as a podgy toad which caw above accordion layers on a lively and fluid tempo where Tablas percussions look a bit lost. "Sentient Slimemolds" is a soft ballad without musical genre where spectral waves roam and float over fine percussions and pulsations as hypnotic as arrhythmic. It’s a very beautiful track to which we become attached more and more at each listening and which fractions Steve Roach's tribal rhythms. Crazy and explosive, "Scaling the Sky Root" offers a more alive and unbridled structure with a superb bass line wriggling of its nervous chords and with furious percussions which shape a frenzied and distressing rhythm, ending in an unknown linguistic cacophony. A little in Philip Glass way, "Getting Past the Jelly Globules" swirls of its wind instruments group before being harpooned by a big intimidating bass. Torn between orchestral arrangements and an uncertain rhythm, "Getting Past the Jelly Globules" moves stealthily with a nice synth line which makes wave a rhythm surrounded by heterogeneous musical elements. One would believe to hear a new version of Twilight Zone. "The Enemy Nest" dives us into a full intersidereal mystery with an ambient structure from where filter some dark and isolated chords, surrounded of synth layers a bit ghostly. And the rhythm falls. Like strummed beatings, "The Enemy Nest" tempo begins skipping of a little bit candid approach with chords to tones at once limpid and of glasses which strum on a minimalist movement. "Robot Probe" presents interesting approach of old black and white movies with its piano notes which jump on violin layers with zigzagged momentums. The movement goes brilliantly on a more lively structure with this blend of chords which dance on tap-dancing percussions.
And so goes Long-Range Influence. On rhythms and melodies which overlap in heterogeneous and plentiful musical structures of a sound fauna as rich as fascinating, "Attack of the Sentry Mites" follows with a structure just as much jerky where chords quiver and jump up in a tribal ambiance. It’s a very powerful where Kimmo Pörsti delivers a powerful fight of percussions against nervous and impulsive synths/keyboards chords of Otso Pakarinen who dusts the whole thing of suave light winds to tones of Arabic and indigenous flutes. Very ambient, "Diabolical Ohkar" deviates towards an obscure tribal world where clan vocalizes get lost in a tetanised ambiance. "Plans to Catalyze the Atmosphere" offers a fluid rhythm which is very near the sound tracks of French movies with this smooth voice that is walking on a structure supported by fine percussions and keyboard keys. Whistles whistle here and there, bringing an odd spectral touch which is usually approached by a synth. "Attacked by Grooming Slugs" is extremely bipolar with its subdivided rhythm, supported by good percussions while the mellotron draws superb musical arcs. It goes from heavy metal, with riffs of a corrosive guitar, to melancholic harmonies, with its whimsical violins and twinkling arpeggios which, misled, flow on the back of a round bass. "Accidental Terrestrial Intervention" pursues this crazy musical getaway with a bass which runs after its rhythm on old airs of espionage TV series. "The Great Anthem" ends Long-Range Influence with a good synth-pop which transcends towards a little more cherub world with wavy chords which melt to a structure with subdivided melodies but all the same rather minimalist.
One has to be honest here. Even if Long-Range Influence isn’t conventional EM, Berlin or Netherlands School, it’s an incredibly diversified album which allies a stunning palette of genres and styles in accordance with Ozone Player’s works. An album which amazes and makes the ear jumps in every new listening so much the sound variety abounds in an incredible hybridity where everything becomes entangled in a perfect synchronicity. Otso Pakarinen looks like Mike Batt, Mike Oldfield, Philip Glass, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa and others of the same lineage. Rarely did I hear a so striking and surprising album, outside traditional EM spheres, except Brian Eno and Nerve Net as well as Stewart Copeland and his staggering Equalizer and Other Cliffhangers. This is a strong opus which is highly recommendable and finds its entire dimension at high volume or with headphones.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

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