Andrew Oudot – Crystallization

Andrew Oudot - Crystallization

CD, Minor Label, 2009
www.andrewoudot.com

In the past, we had Converter leaving nothing to the imagination with his seminal album, “Blast Furnace” – searing waves of fiery noise obliterating all in its path, leaving the merest scattering of ash in its wake. In the future, Lady Gaga’s “Plastic, mass-produced drivel to placate the mindless hordes” will similarly tell the consumer exactly what to expect before any purchase takes place. Until then, however, we have Anrew Oudot’s “Crystallization” to fill the gap.
As expanded on above, this is quite possibly the best example ever of judging a book (or in this case, CD) by its cover: the fragile, pure tones generated on this record convey crystal clarity with every passing measure. Mathematical precision in the programming meets an almost organic growth algorithm in the sequencing creating something that is beautiful, brittle and cuts directly to the bone – not unlike clusters of crystalline formations. The tracklisting, too, conveys a sense of science meets nature, creating chimaeric hybrid structures of sound: “Dynamic Opacity”, “Nominal Intrusion”, “Halo-Prism-Halo”… Possibly the only negative I can draw from repeated listenings is that it’s all a little too ‘nice’ – crystals are beautiful, agreed, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that they may have jagged shards, too. Not everything should be rose quartz, absorbing negative enrgies – some attention should be given to primitive flaked obsidian spearheads, too.
The positive aspects of “Crystallization” are unsurprising, however: Oudot is first and foremost a soundtrack composer, and illustrative, evocative music is part and parcel of this job description. One can only hope that he manages to cram as much depth and feeling into the score for “Exaella”, his main project, a cyberpunk anime miniseries he has been collaborating on for some time. If so, the music alone will make the series worthwhile. It’s been a long time since I experienced something that blends classical, electronica and ambient music so seamlessly into a result far greater than the mere sum of its parts. Oudot is much more than a producer – he is a composer. Bravo, maestro.

[8.5/10]

— David van der Merwe