CD-R, Fich-Art, 2007
Oszillotom comprises of two collaborators; M “Kirk” Fuchs and Herby Althaus. Fuchs was a founder member of the band Config.sys but left in 2002 to pursue his own projects. Frustrated that he wasn’t able to realise the music he heard in his head Fuchs signed up Althaus to help him. Out of this came their debut CDR entitled “Energetika” released by fich-art late in 2007.
Oszillotom is an interesting proposition, just when you think you have them pegged as ambient industrial experimentalists they throw everything up in the air within seconds. Their opening track, “Castor”, comprises of several layers mixing all manner of fuzzy (but fairly restrained) distortion with metallic beats and buzz saw tones. They follow this with the deliberate metallic clangs and jittery electronic splutter of “Schweres Wasser”. Up to that point there had been definite industrial noise elements to their music but the end result consisted of a dark mass of deep droning ambient noise or a slower, more menacing atmosphere that always maintains an air of tension throughout. It is at this point that the duo unleashes their full-on droning noise onslaught in the form of “Primaerwasserpumpe” and “Sekundaerkreislauf”; both of which are huge great chasms of deep heavily distorted layered drones, oscillating banks of high-pitched sound and heavy waves of crushing industrial beats. The outcome is huge and overwhelming but completely submersive and hypnotic.
They revert back to slightly more restrained power-noise for “Elektron” but even this is uncompromising and wonderfully executed. Then, just as quickly as it came, they revert back to the dark experimental ambient tones of “Schweres Wasser” with “Kalte Fusion”. In a blink of an eye they are back to hard plodding bassy beats and disorienting swirls of ambient sound with “Reaktorblock 13”. Confusing things further is the consistent monotone electro beat of the glitch enhanced “238U” followed by the toned down rhythmic noise of “Zerfallsrate”, a track which threatens to unleash a massive torrent of vicious breaks but instead holds back to create a restrained ambient rhythmic noise hybrid. After this slightly more mellow interlude “Massendefekt” returns to the enormous throbbing bassy beats seen earlier although they are again not harsh but somewhat softer and more rounded with ghostly atmospheric swirls lingering in the background. It is at this point, as the album begins to draw to its close, that the duo throw in a militaristic noise track that is again slightly softer than some of the earlier tracks but still packs a punch. It is then left to “Halbwertszeit” to offer some dark ambience to set the scene for a remix by power noise protagonists Asche. The “Störfall” remix closes the disc in fine style with Andreas Schramm adding a new level of hard distorted chaos to turn it into a relentless addictive war machine of a track.
What starts out as an apparent industrial ambient experiment soon turns into a heavy power-noise rollercoaster ride. Oszillotom create music that is deep, distorted and chaotic but do so in a perfectly calculated way that results in a collection of superbly realised tracks. Showcasing a range of styles from tense, dark ambient through to heavy multi-layered drones and visiting several points between the two extremes, Oszillotom show there is more to their music than wonderfully executed industrial noise. Their music is sharp and carefully produced with the added bonus of the album being expertly mastered by Asche.
— Paul Lloyd