Posts Tagged ‘Walthamstow’

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Following a recalibration and consolidation with their recent electronics-inflected album, 2018’s U.E.F., The Oscillation is back with their sixth and most ambitious album to date, Wasted Space. A meditation on the nature of existence in the face of what can be insurmountable odds, Wasted Space finds The Oscillation painting from the darker shades of the kaleidoscopic scale.

“The origins of Wasted Space go back to Monographic in 2016,” muses Demian Castellanos – the mastermind behind The Oscillation. “That was a very bleak and heavy record and I really needed to move out of that mindset. Making U.E.F freed me up to write a coherent collection of narrative songs and compositions. Wasted Space is a partial continuation of a journey started with U.E.F., but one that re-incorporates more song-based ideas again.”

What’s immediately apparent is that Wasted Space sets it stall well away from the prosaic third-eye tropes that have become orthodoxy. Album opener ‘Entity’ establishes the pace with a focus on the dancefloor as much as on the navigation of existence. Fusing muscular grooves with an industrial wall of sound, these are bold steps into wholly new territories. “There’s an irony at play here,” considers Castellanos. “It’s a twisted party song, albeit a party for one.” But what a party it is. The mutant disco is bolstered by the rhythmic call-and-response of ‘Drop’, a track that eschews conventional methods of dance sensibility for more instinctive and primal urges. This is music that calls out to the suitably attuned. “We’re reaching out on an innate level,” says Castellanos. “It’s a form of wordless communication that transcends the limitations of verbal language and thought processes.”

Wasted Space’s more somatic moments are tempered and balanced by episodes of contemplation and reflection. Fuelled by dreamy, orchestral sweeps and mournful, sustained notes, ‘The Human Shell’ is a deceptive yet redemptive piece that at first glance appears to be resigned to the futility of existence. But look once again and there you’ll find hope. “People will be able to relate to this song,” states Castellanos. “There’s a lot of love and empathy in there and it reaches out to say that we’re not alone, that we don’t have to exist independently of each other.”

Bringing Wasted Space to an emphatic conclusion is the epic instrumental ‘Luminous Being’. Ambitious in scope and delivery, it methodically and unequivocally slow releases repressed emotions to throw the wider world into sharper focus. Hedonistic yet reflective, Wasted Space is an album that moves purposely along a high wire as it finds the perfect balance between dealing with life and escaping it. The Oscillation’s finest album yet, Wasted Space is the area to which you’ll return to again and again. 
Wasted Space is due for release September 21st.
released September 21st, 2018
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“All That Remains” is the fifth album by Walthamstow’s finest duo The Left Outsides since at least the halcyon days of Bevis Frond’s Inner Marshland.
Hard to pin down with any certitude, the music created by The Left Outsides varies from track to track and even moment to moment. Alison Cotton’s vocals, harmonium and viola blend with Mark Nicholas’s voice, bass, guitar, piano and drums in ways that recall everything from Kendra Smith and David Roback’s drony duo, Opal (on “Down to the Waterside”), to PJ Harvey covering an old Blondie tune as a dirge (on “Naming Shadows Was Your Existence”).
But the basic pulse of All That Remains most often reminds me of either current work by Massachusetts’ estimable Damon and Naomi, or the sound of Pearls Before Swine around the time of their third LP, These Things Two. Like those combos, The Left Outsides manage to swap and mix male and female vocals without altering the elegiac dream-heft of their overall sound. They do this while maintaining a vibe that feels indebted to the mists of wood and dale far more than the bustle of London. 

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And the instrumental arrangements are never too far from the light touch of the folk-rock classicism perfected in the UK and Holland as the ’60s slid into the ’70s. Most of the sounds seem more like meditations upon this period than any attempt at recreation, however, which also aligns the band with certain threads that emerged in the ’80s uk psych underground just before raves took over.
All of which makes this a beautiful and outstanding record, and one that especially rewards the deep concentration of what is euphemistically called “late night listening.” It’s a very special spin. 

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Releasing a new single on Lost Map Records (Pictish Trail, Kid Canaveral, Rozi Plain). It’s a song called ‘Build A Building’, and it’s about seeking release from feeling like a cog in a machine.

The band are Mike Cranny, Laura Copsey, Martin Thompson, Giles Littleford and Tom Hargreaves. Together they write lyrical alt-pop songs which are filtered through joyous surges of collective noisemaking and bursts of electronic sound from synths and guitars. The debut album ‘Never Closer‘ came out at the end of 2014 and the new album ‘The Year Dot’ will be out on Lost Map Records in early 2018. The first single taken from it ‘Build A Building’ is out now.

For The Rabbits blog premiered it and described it as: “a lush flourish of sound – breezy guitar lines combined with sun-dripped melodies and bursts of textural electronic noise”.

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