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O T X – A World In Red

O T X - A World In Red

CD, Funk Welten, 2007

Atmosphere, rhythm, sound: “A World In Red” neglects nothing that could make up a strong electronica release. Moving from cool, dry string textures to full, warm subsonic swells, it creates a ground onto which merciless percussion, bells and arpeggios patter like rain.
Opening with the human, filmic “Not For Angels,” heartbeats sync into a breathy groove and burst like a gasp into “To Die For A Lie” – it’s simple but layered, instrumental rather than ambient. The richness of the sound set used by the artist means that their very linear arrangements and brittle, opaque vocals don’t seem to grow dull – it’s a long, but stimulating journey. “Genes And Diseases” could almost be dark electro for its rhythm set, but weaving over that is a dirge-like digital theme with robotic intent.
A challenge is thrown out in the form of ethnic/world-styled percussion and choral vocals on a couple of tracks, but this foreign presence doesn’t seem as exotic as it does genuine – it just adds to the soundscape in use. Continued through midway and heating up, the cold and dark becomes sultry. Again, despite the release being mostly devoid of vocals and focused on creating atmospheres and grooves, it seems as appropriate for a dancefloor as for listening at home.
Cyberpunk poet Kenji Siratori offers minimalist dialogue on “Cyber Murder” to bluesy guitar runs that are reminiscent of Bowie and Eno’s “1.Outside” outtakes. Though I’m loathe to draw artist comparisons, there are echoes of Front Line Assembly with respect to glossy mixing and that every part of the frequency spectrum – those handled by software, those electro-acoustic elements, the sampled, the synthesised, the human – is present and placed to make a meal for the ears.
Present are some remixes as well – Empusae’s starkly minimalist “Red Mask” is made engaging by holding back, and builds slowly without clutter. The Flint Glass mix of “Blood For Oil” is more complex and stomping for contrast.
In all, it is well produced, deep, varied and intriguing. I’d only like to hear more of it, taken even further.


— James Ryan

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