Origamibiro :: Odham’s Standard (Denovali)

Odham’s Standard is uncanny as a sight of a deceased loved one’s hazy reflection in the windowpane, and warm and unforgettable as a short reunion with him/her would be. Genre tag? Indefinable.

How often can you say you’ve encountered an album that is transfixing from the first second until the last? Rarely. Here’s one that qualifies. Odham’s Standard contains ten poignant sonic miniatures of an ingeniously organic and highly dynamic nature. Each one is exquisitely woven and full of nuance. Together they assemble a fluid and dramatic story. Sadness, warm memories, fear, mysticism, supernatural encounters, acceptance—it’s all there. The motion is effortless, graceful and full of intensity, like that of a finely executed powerful ballet choreography, and the clarity and color of the textures are vivid and effective as an arresting cinematography.

So, what are the ingredients? Guitars, piano and double bass—occasionally played with a bow, though in some parts it might be a cello, maybe a guitar?—are some of the conventional ones, though there’s nothing too conventional about the way they are played. As for the unconventional ingredients, the ones I can identify are electronic treatments and typewriters, the rest are just too ambiguous, which is an aspect that adds more mystery and charm throughout the album. Press release states that in its live performances, Origamibiro uses treated books, found celluloid, paper, eerie wildlife recordings, home movies and sellotape. Maybe some of these things are woven in the album as well, but there’s no guarantee. This combination of organic instrumentation, peculiar experimentalism and sweeping sense of a multilayered tale makes Odham’s Standard one of the best albums Denovali has ever released and without a doubt one of the most engaging albums of 2014.

Origamibiro is the audio-visual project of three men: musician, soundtrack composer and producer Tom Hill, visual artist and filmmaker The Joy Of Box, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Tytherleigh. I haven’t experienced Origamibiro on stage yet, but I’ve read that an Origamibiro show is a very special audio-visual experience. I can say the same about this studio-based audio work. It beautifully transmits on a visual plane as well.

Odham’s Standard is uncanny as a sight of a deceased loved one’s hazy reflection in the windowpane, and warm and unforgettable as a short reunion with him/her would be. Genre tag? Indefinable. Now, it’s definitely high time for me to investigate Origamibiro’s back catalog , and fortunately, earlier this year, Denovali re-released it in its entirety on Vinyl and CD box sets and also on MP3.

Odham’s Standard is available on Denovali.

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