Otso – Dendermonde

Posted: 8 December 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , , , ,

Elli Records – EL03 – 24th November 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

What’s with the guy with the bear’s head mask thing? What’s he doing? And why? There are press shots of the bear’s head man playing guitar on a beach. It’s not sinister, but whacky, and without any real context, rather absurd. There is no real context, beyond the fact that this is the work of Otso Lahdeoja.

Otso Lahdeoja is a Finnish composer, described as a guitarist and ‘omnidirectional researcher of all things sonic’. As such, Dendermonde is an exploratory work, which conforms to the limits of neither genre or structural conventions. Dendermonde also finds Otso explore contrasts and sonic variation, and the four tracks are each very different from one another.

‘QC’ begins with what sounds like a vocal sample playing on a loop of stretched shape, before rolling acoustic guitar flits in to occupy the foreground. But these are compositions built around continual movement and endless flux. Woozy, warping notes, formless and malformed sounds stretch and bend. ‘Banshee’ builds a slow, undulating rhythm: there are beats, but it’s the thick, murky bass which dominates. An unexpectedly ‘rock’ guitar line breaks in and drives the subtly dance-orientated groove in an altogether different direction. There’s a dubby vibe to ‘Overwinning,’ and ‘Mue end’ manifests as a long, drawling harmonica drone.

The contrasts of style, rather than making for a disjointed work, functions in a complimentary manner, and there’s a strong sense of focus and direction across the release as a whole.


Otso – Dendermonde


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