Osmiroid :: Double review (Self-Released)

There is not so much a defining sound as a characteristic approach that serves as a crucible to shape and distort hearts and minds as well as sounds.

Osmiroid is a shadowy league of shadowy figures purportedly laying low in London, Oxforshire, Paris and points beyond. Though only about a year old, it has released a cassette (on Mordant Music) and five CDRs in short order, each in exquisitely designed, hand made editions. There is not so much a defining sound as a characteristic approach that serves as a crucible to shape and distort hearts and minds as well as sounds.

Its latest, Nez Bouché—featuring an expanded line-up of four “available for kid’s parties”—opens with Frankensteinian noise jazz, a busty saxophone being plucked apart and stitched back together wrong over the course of the fifteen minute “Stoatdicker.” The saxophone moans and groans its last (for now) on the restive but decidedly gauzier “Manson Sofa,” before the now gaseous, now razor-edged mood swings of “Département d’ethnomusicologie” give way to the gentler sway of “Pat, As I See Him,” an oozy cantata for unnatural voice and beautiful loops. The saxophone is resurrected for a final fifteen-minute strangulation by electric garrot on the closing “Nanochocoscotch.”

The full-length album was preceded by the three-inch Casanova Technique, mounted on a collapsible replica matchbox with working striking surface. Identified as a companion piece, it is a relative calm twenty minutes, suggested as background music for those romantic dinners for two over a microwaved lasagna. It feels much longer and does indeed give you something to swoon over. it showcases the muted and obscured machine dysfunction that made Osmiroid’s sophomore effort Dromstbles such a treat. Radiant and ghostly even as it blinks in the light. A kind of dub concrète.

Both releases are available here.

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