Ozone Player - Frozen Paint On Boiling Canvas

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Visual Power
Catalog Number: VP 006
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:25:00

Frozen Paint On Boiling Canvas - intriguing title, no? Obviously it an arty title, and I don't mean just because of the words "paint" or "canvas." It just has that... "I didn't know what else to call my abstract, so... there, Frozen Paint On Boiling Canvas it is." And, this is arty in that that electronic music kind of way too, though if you are expecting some cheery, bouncy, happy music as on Ozone Player's previous release, E, there very little of that to be found here. This is a far more serious work through and through. It's somewhat darker and gloomier and for all that, not as entertaining. It's not off-putting, at least not most of it, but ... the vibe is so very different from E.

Some pieces even have such downer titles like "We Are All Carrying The Burden Of Our Future," a super-gloomy and depressing piece, at times almost dirge like; "Sometimes It Is Not As Always," a somewhat typical or generic sounding electronic music piece using an all too familiar pallet, especially if you listen to a lot of computer animation music; "The Sprawl," which is initially colored with dark, doomy tones that give way to percolating layers of keyboards and synthetic percussion - a dim view of the crowded and bustling city, all shown to you in the musical equivalent of time-lapse photography of a single day; "Limping Alien," where de-tuned and fat dark notes reverberate loosely beneath a light, lyrical piano- and koto-like keyboard phrase. It contains some of the few lighthearted and playful moments, but the whimsy is not a cheery as on E. Although you might think that a piece called "Whatever Happened To The Emperor's Old Clothes?" would be a jaunty tune, right. Maybe? Nope, it's a morose and dark and lumbering piece. "Freudian Sleep" is amorphous, thick and gelatinous sonicscape, contrasted with frantic, urgently strummed cello-like sounds. "They Are Finally Starting To Come" is one part Zeit-period Tangerine Dream - a glacially slow soundscape becomes the mournful backdrop to some very awful sounding keyboards that are severely out of tune and annoying shrill. "Edgewood" is mostly trilling recorder over sparse percussion and subtle keys - medieval in sound, it's vaguely militaristic, vaguely ceremonial. It's a nice and pleasant piece, lighter than anything on the album, with a tempered upbeatness. "Spring Theory" is another lighter track, almost sounding like something from Enya, only no vocals and more synths. "From A To B" follows in this lighter mode, this been much more airy with harp-like tones giving it a certain fluffiness.

If you haven't read yet my review of E, then I'll note here that Ozone Player is mainly Finnish composer Otso Pakarinen (synths, percussion, guitar and found sounds) with guests - Tim Walters on recorder, hammer dulcimer and percussion (for three tracks) and Esa Hyvönen on percussion for "Sometimes..." The album is dedicated to Jouni Halmari who died in 2004 at the age of 42; Halmari played guitar on one track on E. It may explain why this album is much darker.

It's well programmed and produced, but it doesn't have the same spark that E had, regardless of the gloominess of the arrangements. Though very paint-by-numbers sounding, "Sometimes..." does have some energy, "The Sprawl" is interesting, and "Edgewood" is very nice, but there's just something missing here on this album.

The Sprawl (4:06) / We Are All Carrying The Burden Of Our Future (6:01) / Limping Alien (3:23) / Freudian Sleep (3:20) / They Are Finally Starting To Come (4:52) / Edgewood (6:15) / Spring Theory (6:54) / From A To B (4:26) / Sometimes It Is Not As Always (6:05) / What Ever Happened To The Emperor's Old Clothes? (6:59)

Otso Pakarinen - synthesizers, percussion, guitar and found sounds
Tim Walters - recorder, hammer dulcimer, and percussion (6, 7, 9)
Esa Hyvönen - percussion (9)

Insane Logic (2001)
Videozone (2001)
E (2002)
E Lite (3-track promo) (2002)
Frozen Paint On Boiling Canvas (2005)

Genre: Electronic

Origin FI

Added: October 4th 2005
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.ozoneplayer.com
Hits: 1064
Language: english


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