Year of Release: 2002
Label: Visual Power
Catalog Number: VP 004
Total Time: 49:01:00
The music to be found on E, the 2002 release from Ozone Player (one Finn by the name of Otso Pakarinen with guests), falls into the electronic category. It's the kind of music that is often used to accompany computer animation sequences, or to which computer animation sequences are designed That often means strong percussion - not necessarily drums, but other forms of percussion - and synths making odd and not-so-odd sounds, often sounding a bit chilly and well, synthethic, though not necessarily in a bad way. Coming from either direction, it requires very visual music, where sounds are action. This is why there's always this mechanicalness about the arrangements, as it suggests movement, whether the mechanisms moving are natural (animal joints (humans or otherwise)) or man-made (cogs, wheels, etc.).
"My Name Is Bond...Jeeves Bond" is the perfect example; it opens the album with a loping, loose and bouncy bass-like rhythm, and cheery and parpy keys and merrily runs and prances about. It does throttle back for a classical inspired passage including deep cello-like tones, very high pitched keyboards (just on the edge of the human audible range...), and then soft beds of more keys. "The Wobbling Wardrobe" sounds just like that - wobbly, amoebous or jelly-fish like ... like being inside a lava lamp. "The Runner" is a bit more sci-fi with a rock beat, searing guitar leads, and throaty, yet parpy keyboards.
The track that sticks out for me is "Ollism" and mainly it is the "sifting sand" effect that begins the track - while it's loud, it's soft; industrial but warm. Soon after, it has a very industrial feel with clanging and sawing sounds, and the addition of gurgling voices. We've come to the factory of some non-human species who merrily working. I think of the Ugnauts of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - though pug-nosed ogres, and that mainly because of the gurgling voices. "Re-Ollism" brings back the rhythm, only here it's more subdued, squishy, and wet... a it fizzles, like live wires sparking in a puddle - and sometimes sounds like a ventilator machine weezing. The joie-de-vivre has become much more somber. The foreman has returned to the factory perhaps... they've just learned the factory will be shutting down (and their jobs shifted overseas)?
Artists that come to mind are Thomas Dolby, James Reynolds, and latter-day Tangerine Dream. It isn't as organic as Robert Rich or Steve Roach, and yet it still has some warmth. What one might not find in any of the others mentioned, except maybe Dolby, is a sense of humour; you will find a lot of humour on E, and that gets back to sounds suggesting visuals, a bouncy rhythm here; a self-important, marching passage there -- there being "Broken Code," where I'm almost certain he's quoting a classical classic (in spots) -- that seems to find the comical side of overly-proud military leaders, strutting so much that they become caricatures of themselves. We find humour also in "Inzekt Danz" which recalls traditional animation - think Tom and Jerry, Sylvester and Tweety-Bird, Roadrunner and the Wyle E. Coyote, except here we've got lots and lots of insects... a "Hoedown" for the horse-fly, as it were. And yes, I don't make the reference to Copeland lightly, as there is a sense of a fiddle, even if there's nothing specifically fiddle-like.
Unlike anything else is the mournful, amorphous "Saurus" - it's dark and murky, though at times, beneath the muck we see some hidden signs of life - something pulsating. There are some organ-like passages that made me think of ELP, but not really any signature "Emerson-isms."
The music is bright and often very infectious - you can't help but get caught up in the bouncy rhythms and cheery atmosphere. Pakarinen designed this to be listened to in layers, which almost guarantees that you'll play it more than once... yes, he has packed a lot of detail into this music, so while you don't have lengthy excursions - the longest piece is 6:47 - there is a lot of depth. Interesting and well done, it's one that may not get stuck to your player, but will invite repeat visits.
My Name Is Bond... Jeeves Bond (6:44) / The Wobbling Wardrobe (5:23) / Ollism (3:07) / The Runner (6:18) / Broken Code (4:13) / Light Music For Small Masses (3:00) / Platonaut (4:18) / Inzekt Danz (5:12) / Re-Ollism (3:59) / Saurus (6:47)
Otso Pakarinen - keyboards, percussion, guitar, synth programming, loud objects and found sounds
Esa Hyvönen - vocals (3, 9)
Jouni Halmari - guitar (4)
Kimmo Kivelä - Reaktor rhythm (1), liquid piano (10)
Insane Logic (2001)
E Lite (3-track promo) (2002)
Frozen Paint On Boiling Canvas (2005)