ARTIST: The Oscillation
RELEASE: Wasted Space
RELEASE DATE: 21st September 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Lets get straight too it: The Oscillation's latest release, 'Wasted Space' is the definition of bonkers genius. I first heard that term, ‘bonkers genius’ in regards to a film script that had been written as a proposed sequel to a very popular and big budget movie. The script had essentially taken the originals core story (a medieval epic) and introduced a complete crossfire of madness. Absurd subplots involving time travel, resurrection based suicide and gigantic, million men armies going to war for 400 years could all be found in the proposed sequels script. It was, indeed, bonkers. But underneath it all there was something amazing. Perhaps that ‘something’ was the very composition of the script, maybe it was that, when stepping back, the plot actually made coherent (and considerate) sense. Maybe it was because everything locked together in a way that many people wouldn’t even consider when approaching it. All these questions can be applied to 'Wasted Space' . Tracks here are scattered underneath piles of bizarrely twisted loops, sound FX, off kilter guitars, and just general madness. Underneath it somewhere, is a warped and absurdist dance album. Preface: this is one of those releases that even the greatest writers cannot accurately describe. Demian Castellanos has created a swirling hedonistic thrill ride in the guise of 'Wasted Space'. It's the bands sixth album to date and it leads the listener on a blistering journey into the darker side of the experimental psych spectrum, a side that balances tentatively on a fizzing tight rope of sonic emotions. The album had it's official release back on the 21st of September 2018 via those good folks over at Fuzz Club Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats via fuzzclub.com & fuzzclub.bandcamp.com respectively.
I’ll try and be as legitimate as possible, but you must understand that many of the sounds on this exploratory adventure are extremely difficult to describe… Some are actually so confusing I don’t think I could describe them even if I tried. The album opens with ‘Entity’, a beat orientated dance track that begins with a wall of shaky noises and bass and drums orientated backing. The guitars are all over the show. The vocals sound filtered through a robotic voice… and then reversed? Occasionally a riff comes along with a pretty ‘normal’ sound only to be then swept away by obtuse but brilliantly inventive guitar playing. As mentioned above, the track is essentially a dance track gone crazy. The title track follows with a dense-layering of feedback and noise where vocals can be heard, deeply layered in noise, screaming in the background. It then jumps between patches of sound collages and dark, almost post-punk rhythmic interludes. All the way through (much like the previous track) the song sounds as danceable as ever, albeit at times layered in the depths of oddity. Being a fan of noise music, I very much enjoyed the occasionally passages (and background sounds) of feedback and distortion-based vocals that appeared throughout the song. The band leaves space for a bit of keyboard play on the following track ‘Visions of Emptiness’ which is a fantsastic and much more (mostly) linear song. Guitars interlock with the steady yet rhythmic beat of the drums. The whole song builds in fulfilling manner toward leftover ambience and a passage of wavy feedback.
‘Drop’ brings forth the previously explored dance-based industrial sounds and proves to be one of the albums most accessibly dance-based tracks. Again, the song is strengthened by the efforts and skill of its bass/synthesizer lines, backed up by its steadily club-orientated dance beat and the bizarre swells of sequencers and noises in the background. ‘The Human Shell’ is a different beast altogether; strangely hypnotic and slow, its collection of sweeping synthesizers and glacial guitars make it sound (almost) like a dream pop/shoegaze song. Slowly rolling along for almost 8 minutes, the song highlights the bands talent to produce something straight forward, reliant on the strength and skill of the song writing and playing rather than abstraction and layering (although there is nothing wrong with that). Rolling at almost 14 minutes, the colossal ‘Luminous Being’ offers much of what the rest of the album has to offer: sweeping ambience coupled with bizarre soundscapes and backings, somehow beautiful but never boring. The bands mixture of sequencers and synthesizers makes for interestingly sketched out feelings of confusion and comfort, simultaneously.
It goes without saying that this album cannot be recommended to everybody… but here I am, strongly recommending it to you. I’m mostly bored of generic ‘psych’ bands and I’m extremely glad that The Oscillation have appeared here to ensure there are still those out there doing something fantastic and original. You know an album is good when you’re tempted to describe it as: ‘it sounds crazily like if Alice in Wonderland was performed at an ice rink with all the lights dimmed and everybody there was on a cocktail of drugs, listening to a psych band in reverse’. The performances are tight, the production, while sometimes politely lo-fi, holds the whole picture together… but ultimately it is the bonkers genius put together that makes this album a piece of brilliant original sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.