CD, Funk Welten, 2006
Few artists have achieved such notoriety and degree of expectation surrounding their work, and even less have constantly succeeded in living up to those expectations, as French electronic musician Gilles Rossire alias Oil 10. With “Beyond”, his fifth full-length release, now on the German label Funk Welten he once again proves that he’s one of those few.
Listening to the aptly titled “Beyond” one easily gets the impression that this album would be the perfect soundtrack to a high-adventure space opera, taking the listener far away from planet Earth. In addition to being quite cinematic, many tracks in this album are also extremely danceable and are sure not to leave anyone indifferent.
Keeping the distinct ‘Oil 10 sound signature’, this new album follows along the lines of French electro and electroclash. Somewhat robotic and obviously geared towards the dancefloor, many of the compositions in “Beyond”, may seem a bit too direct and simplistic at first listen but this is only a first impression which soon vanishes. Even without attentive listening, one will quickly realize the careful and masterful layering which characterizes Oil 10’s music. Gilles’ talent and attention to detail is further evidenced by the skill with which he incorporates a variety of elements from genres such synthpop, techno, EBM and trance (as well as a Kraftwerk influence, more evident in previous releases) into his compositions of synthetic melodies and engaging beat structures, creating something that is quite unique and captivating (like “Synchro 4 All” which may become a memorable and long-lived hit).
“Synchro 4 All” and “High Adventure”, which kick off “Beyond” with a bang, are excellent examples of the dancefloor-friendly tracks contained in this album, of which “X Fleet” is also a prime example. These dance-friendly tracks are roughly alternated with more laidback and chillout tracks like “Far & Away” (which easily conjures images of flying high above a sea of clouds), the robotic “Tele Tone” and “My Neighbor Hayao” which closes the album on a high note.
For those familiar with Oil 10’s work, this review could well be reduced to “the new Oil 10 album is out now and you know it’s great, so go and buy it, you know you want to”. For anyone else, “Beyond” is definitely a must-have: it is an excellent introduction to Oil 10’s work and is sure to spark interest in finding more about this singular French artist and his earlier recordings.
— Miguel de Sousa