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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oyaarss - "Zemdega"

Artist: Oyaarss
Album: Zemdega
Year: 2014
Label: Ad Noiseam
Genre: Post-Industrial, Post Rock, IDM, etc
Website: www.adnoiseam.net

Ironically, I just (finally) started getting into Oyaarss' prior release Bads earlier this week, so when I saw a new album in my inbox I jumped on it. I'm not really sure how to categorize Oyaarss; his music involves a lot of crossover between genres: Post-Rock, IDM, Power Noise, Industrial, Ambient, etc. It's a bit like Comaduster but more aggressive and crunchier. It has come to my attention recently that Ad Noiseam seems to have taken over the torch of Power Noise with their releases in the last couple of years. However, whereas in the past the releases from Ant Zen or Hands could be described, at their most fundamental, as "distorted techno", the Ad Noiseam flavored Power Noise would be "distorted dubstep". Acts like Fausten, Swarm Intelligence, and of course Oyaarss. Oyaarss stands out to me because it incorporates so many elements beyond dubstep wub wub basslines & crunchy beats and is making what I would consider to be next level material.

Initially I was a bit disappointed because Zemdega forgoes almost all of the crunchy old school noisy Power Noise elements of the former release. Instead it chooses to focus all it's attention on the deep, organic atmospheres and bring those to the forefront. As previously stated, this record is an amalgam of several styles, all expertly blended into a fantastically fulfilling new form. Take some dreamy, floating Boards of Canada-esque atmospheres meshed with emotive melodies and mix it with a punchy industrial kick, crunchy unpredictable broken beats, and complex, non-linear sequencing and you have this record in a nutshell. The production and mastering are both surperb and allow the record to fully realize it's extremely deep scope and pull the listener into its realm. Once inside, it is very hypnotic and cerebrally satisfying. My favorite track on the album is "Silkta Dardedze" which utilizes layers of incredibly provocative melodies over subtle, trance-inducing pads; strange, deep, chanting vocals; and sporadic, crushing industrial percussion. All these components are coalesced into one of the most hypnotic and encompassing pieces in recent memory. Overall, this record has the depth and visionary qualities of good ambient (and/or post-rock) music, the punch & power of good industrial music, and the complexity & unpredictability of good IDM.
The only thing that I don't like are the screamo vocals that appear on a few of the songs. I find these to clash painfully with the music in all but perhaps one instance.

A great release from an exceptional artist. It's one of those albums that is easy to get sucked into, whereupon it flies by and you wonder how it can possibly be over already. Needless to say, its been on loop since I got it. I'm really glad to hear artists that are still pushing the envelope and forging new ground when it comes to heavy, distorted, "post-industrial" music. Definitely a must hear for fans of Ad Noiseam, Tympanik, Hymen, and the like! I would also highly recommend the previous album Bads if you're interesting in hearing these kinds of atmospheres mixed into super heavy, old Antigen Shift style Power Noise.

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