Ochre :: Isolette EP (Shipwrec)

Isolette sees the British artist continue to build textured and vivid soundscapes, but they are now punctuated by familiar and stronger rhythm patterns.

Ochre :: Isolette

I say it with no shame, Skanfrom’s recent podcast for us tugged at my nostalgic heartstrings. Abfahrt Hinwil, Novel 23, CiM, Lowfish, Muziq et cetera. All of these were my plink plonk pedagogues, the instructors in my youthful synthesizer schooling. Toytronic was a cornerstone in my electronic education. Its soulful sounds and crunched up percussion caught my imagination. Ochre released, ten years ago now, his seminal A Midsummer Nice Dream (Bandcamp) on the then London label and I haven’t heard much of him since. Now that’s more my fault than Christopher Scott Leary’s. By the mid 2000’s I had begun to drift away from IDM. Leary kept up his productivity with releases on Benbecula and BaseLogic. The UK artist has remained active with a number of live performances across Europe, his impressive number of Facebook likes reflecting Leary’s popularity. But vinyl has been illusive, with downloads usurping wax; until now.

The gentle, melodic whimsy of “Paper Unicorn” gives way to the arctic electrical snaps of “Ark Of Comfort.” Echoes of Ochre’s IDM past are present, yet their countenance is at times colder. An Electro edge lances the EP, one epitomized in frosty rhythm patterns. But don’t don the coat and boots just yet, there are warmer moments. “Infinite Bookends” floats sweetened strings on a brittle bed of clicks and snare. Fragile key strokes build, Leary feeling out an ephemeral piece of electronic brilliance. “Glassmaker” is the punchiest piece on the 12”. Through a fog of twilight laser light staggers a woozy melody, hazy harmonies gripping lampposts of biting snare. Leary hangs cascading chords from this support for a track that propels itself into something sublime. It is this tricky customer Roel Funcken, half of Funckarma, has the pleasure to rework. The Dutchman takes “Glassmaker” and adds layers of glitch, feedback and reverb, re-sowing the original to a crunched up and dubbed back interpretation.

Ochre’s latest is quite different to his previous works that I knew, but that’s more than understandable. Isolette sees the British artist continue to build textured and vivid soundscapes, but they are now punctuated by familiar and stronger rhythm patterns. The style might be slightly different, but the expert execution is not. An accomplished return to wax by an out and out talent.

Isolette is available on Shipwrec. [Clone]

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