OddWave – Signal To Noise (Spliff)

Posted in Reviews 2012 by - September 22, 2012
OddWave – Signal To Noise (Spliff)

French act OddWave is a new one on me, but then fair enough I’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, and extremely nice it was as well thanks very much. This is sort of an Extended EP, an EEP if you will (but please don’t). Six tracks released on Spliff Music, who I always associated with gash fullon but who seem to be a little braver with their output now.

The melting pot has already melted, apparently, so things are reforming on the floor in sticky puddles. Signal To Noise brings in several elements and influences from different genres, and on the whole it’s not bad at all.

Art Attack is a bouncy, staccato little fella with an amusing “wob wob” sound punctuating the lower mid. I guess we’d call that a dubstep influence, such is the state of electronica these days. Refer back to my previous point about the melting pot having melted and beginning to reform, and realise I’ve just proved my point.

There’s nothing terribly sticky or puddly about Fox Hound, which is a firmly-rooted and square-footed stomper that puts me in mind of the sort of sound that Plastik Park were trumping a decade or so ago. It’s very mechanical, with little flecks and micro-noises around the edges.

Pyracid is extremely nondescript, and features a sinny lead line playing a melody that’s bordering on News At Ten. I’ve always found it uncomfortable when trance acts inadvertently use string stabs to bash out something that sounds dramatic and cutting and oops, there it goes, it sounds like The News. Vernon’s Wonderland a prime case in point.

Rupture Farms takes that ol’Juno Reactor “bus with square wheels” thing and forces it to march through the crowd once again. I can’t see this doing much in the way of business, but then what do I know.

Vector Equilibrium is my personal standout – solid, and with plenty of character, it had me listening quite intently to find out where it was going to go next. Pretty damn rare, given that most trance-related music has for some years felt like a series of jokes we’ve already heard the punchlines to.

Overall, I’m impressed with OddWave’s sound although one gets the impression they’re holding back a little. The ideas are there, but there’s a certain restrained element here and at times the music sounds almost distracted. I’m not entirely convinced that OddWave’s output wouldn’t be stronger if they didn’t put more emphasis and alive-ness into what they were doing.


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