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TRACK LIST: 1. Of Home 12:22 2. The Moment Before It Was Gone 7:28 3. Nice and Heavy Particles 5:37 4. Montana and the Dirty Blues 5:14 5. Elpis 9:06 LINEUP: Ulrich Retzow - drums Laurenz Mosbauer - guitars Emanuel Pfitzner - bass, clarinet with: Max Freigeist - vocals Murphy Montana - harp Norman van Haven - vocals Hannah Zieziula - voice Isi Niedermeier - voice Bjorn Vollmer - voice
Prolusion. German band Oxomoco are out with the album "Oxomoco", and as the title suggests this is the debut album by this German threesome. They started out only a year ago from what I understand, and one may assume that the pandemic may well have made the creation of their first album a somewhat quicker creative process than it would have been without it. The band have chosen to self release this production, as is most often the case with new bands these days.
Analysis. Oxomoco are open about the fact that their music isn't a shoehorn fit into a progressive rock oriented context, but that their music incorporates aspects of progressive rock into their creations. And I think that is a fair general description to give, as a band they come across as a unit with one foot placed inside the progressive rock universe and the other one placed a bit outside of it. The structure of just about all of their songs comes with an obvious similarity to post-rock, in that they develop from a careful and gentle starting point and gradually build towards more dramatic eruptions, and in this case will repeat this line of development once or twice in the songs, usually with a different focus and different sounds, motifs or arrangements used for the repeated development cycle. The perhaps more occasional use of textured instrument details is another detail that adds a post-rock sheen to the proceedings, and it seems obvious that the band is well aware of that type and style of music. The secondary element brought in from the progressive rock universe here are gentler, reverberating instrument details as well as some fuzzier ones that most people generally will sort under the psychedelic tag. A feature that isn't exclusive to progressive rock of course, but that has a home here as well as in other places. A final detail of note is that some of the songs here will feature harder, more metal oriented points in the final stages of the development cycle, which adds a touch of post-metal to the proceedings. Other than that my main impression is that this is an atmospheric laden production more than anything else. The different stages are all tightly executed, but most of them feature what I would describe as a stronger general focus on mood and atmosphere than towards, say, striking melodies or captivating harmonies. Cue the blues-oriented cut 'Montana and the Dirty Blues' for reference.
Conclusion. By and large I find this debut album by Oxomoco to be a good production. The songs are well made, planned and executed, mix and production is up to par, and everything is in order throughout. While I didn't uncover any moments of brilliance according to my subjective taste in music, I'd suggest those who tend to enjoy both post-rock and psychedelic rock as something of a key audience for this band, and then in particular those among them who also treasure and appreciate a more broadly appealing variety of music.
Progmessor: September 2021
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