Ondness – Oeste A.D (Discrepant)


It’s really difficult to contextualise this album – and that’s what makes it so compelling. You can’t slam disparate genres together with a few additional adjectives or come out with a mash up like Aphex Twin meets Bon Jovi after a night on Crystal Meth. It seems to defy all of that rubbish, yet it also doesn’t feel like it’s a reaction to anything either. It’s defiantly idiosyncratic, feeling like one man’s journey down a rabbit hole.

That man is Portuguese electronic artist , Bruno Silva and like his Serpente alias, he’s not afraid to make the rhythms, well odd.

I want to say this is some kind of scattered psychedlia, or experimental new age music. It seems to lull you in with these hypnotic sounds, like heavily reverebed flute or wooden percussion, but everything’s put together all wrong. Oeste A.D is filled with beautiful moments where often all the ingredients seem to be heading in totally different directions at the same time within the same song, yet by the most tenuous of margins its somehow cohesive. You wonder if you, the listener, and your desire for cohesion is what’s keeping it together, but you can’t help thinking that maybe the music is smarter than all of us and understands cohesion way better than we could ever hope to.

In most music the percussive elements ground the music, providing a frame or structure, yet here, they’re used more for texture, the rhythm occurring between and around the beats. You can hear links to Serepente, particularly in terms of the idiosyncratic use of percussive elements not necessarily for rhythm, however it’s differentiated by its sense of space and the use of more organic elements alongside some strange meandering synths.

The cadences are odd, its stop start, lurch, then silent. It feels like anything can happen at any given moment. Possibly the weirdest element is the final piece, Endless Domingo, apparently a homage to Fennesz’s Endless Summer and Black Dice’s Endless Happiness, which kind’ve provides some degree of context around these strange scattered pieces. It’s the kind of music that you just want to know more, its so alien, so confident, where even though you don’t really understand what is happening most of the time Ondness seems to, and that will have to do.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.