Oxyd – Larva

Oxyd - Larva

CD, Aliens Productions, 2007
www.label.aliens.sk

Oxyd presents the listener with something of an audio conundrum: modern electronic music that places more emphasis on the musical element than the electronic. It is a rare thing in these days of bedroom producers, but most definitely welcome.
Simple arrangements, meticulous production and inspired instrumentation make for a highly accomplished, polished end result on “Larva,” a selection of decidedly atmospheric moods ranging from trance-like ambience to upbeat electro and even stormy industrial soundscapes. Subsequently, Oxyd are a perfect representation of the intellectual aspect that IDM often lacks.
Possibly what makes this album stand out is the level of creativity exhibited; the diversity of sounds generated, coupled with the dynamic nature of the music’s shifting, subtle disposition, shows a fresh and unique approach that, in turn, makes listening to “Larva” only once a near impossibility. Its drawback may be this subtlety, however, as many IDM fans may despair for its relative lack of noise and glitchiness, finding it too ambient and not emotionally charged. To this I reply, don’t confuse “dark” with “emotional.” Oddly, the nearest comparison I could think of that seems fitting is a very favourable one, if somewhat unexpected – the continual changes in pace and related tension are very similar to Brahms’ symphony number one in C minor, in temper, if not technical virtuosity. Perhaps, if Oxyd spent fourteen years refining “Larva,” the musical community at large would take electronic music seriously enough to consider this album a contemporary classic, but sadly, this seems unlikely. I will settle for stating that this is one of the finest achievements in electronica I have had the pleasure of listening to, both for its excellent, accessible ambience and intelligent content.

[9.5/10]

— David vander Merwe