Country : Austria Label : Touch Genres and styles : Ambient / Electroacoustic / expérimental / contemporain Year :

Ozmotic &  Fennez – Senzatempo

· by Théo Reinhardt

Here is the Italian multidisciplinary duo OZmotic mingling with the iconic Austrian electronic composer and guitarist Christian Fennesz. Together they seek to “give musical form to surreal calm, but also to magical and uncertain emotional states.” If those words don’t instantly make you want to dive in, we encourage you to do so: iridescent sound surfaces, waves of bass, and soaring serenity are all there.

The album was conceived at a distance, during the years of the pandemic. The two parties exchanged ideas via email, sound files, and philosophies. The members of OZmotic describe themselves as fascinated by “vast, uncontaminated spaces” and as “creating sound worlds with intense tonal variety,” which they execute beautifully here. It also fits well with Fennesz’s signature approach of creating lush, rich atmospheres with his guitar and computer.

The recurring element of the album is the crumbling high and low frequencies at the ends of our range. Between melody and percussion, this leitmotif is pleasantly surprising at first but quickly carves out its place as the signature sound of the project. It settles over the oceans of sound, the clouds, and operates in that grey area between the organic and the synthetic. Elsewhere, we find crackling, or what the Quebecers call “grichage”, evoking as much an insect stridulation as a static resonance. Other sounds pass by as if only the high frequencies of a wind blowing through leaves had been kept. On the last track, some field recordings pierce the veil; we hear birds flying by. All of this is bathed in a shifting, simple tonal base, which you end up not noticing with the other elements.

It is dreamy, but at the same time terribly present, terribly commanding of a surface consciousness. There is tension between the chaos of periodic sounds and the long notes on the horizon. It is the surface of the water, the deep blue, and all the life it hides.

I always come back to the ocean, because for me it is exactly that: a monument of sound, both mutable and unchanging. The waves come and go, and the quasi-melodies, the guitar, and the counterpoints go through us like a light in a prism, evoking the mystical calm of a sea where nothing happens. The clouds pass and the water reflects them. The ripples become these cloudy reflections that merge into a single model, a moving frieze at the edge of unconscious sensibilities. Isn’t it always here that one accost with the good ambient? No matter what, it is a delight for the ears and for the mind, perfect for the first summer tunes.

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