The Abstraction EP from Washington native Ovoid is an omnitempo journey through surrealistic sound presented by Elliptic Audio Research, the cutting edge psychedelic imprint from Seattle, WA. Coming on the heels of the artist’s debut album Life, from May of this year, the Abstraction EP showcases at first Ovoid’s riveting uptempo offering, then dives into the psychedelic downtempo noire that is his signature.
The first two tracks combine the cerebral indulgence of neuro glitch-hop sound with the danceability and driving rhythm of drum and bass. “Drimb” begins on the inside of a computer interface, beeping a buzzing around a rich bass heartbeat. Tension builds and releases into a rapid groove punctuated with countless sonic details. The percussion is unique, with a muted kick and no traditional snare to speak of. Within these DnB tunes, Ovoid uses traditional percussion samples not as the basis of a beat, but as fills at the end of a measure, adding an acoustic touch to a thoroughly electric and synthesized soundscape. The title track featuring Amnea dives straight into the action, revisiting the computer interface for further data entry. The amount of varied, unique and varnished sonic details - screeches here, saw waves there, color everywhere - is truly impressive, creating an involved take on DnB.
"Weasel" sounds just as good as one would imagine a bass music tune called "Weasel" could sound; even better, in fact. A jazzy lead melody is borne out over a mid-tempo groove by a flute. After a brief and quiet visit to the computer interface, the track descends into a groove with the melody taking the lead, this time sung by a crunchy synthesizer instead of a flute, though the woodwind makes a reprise to converse with a soaring electric guitar later. The flute also makes a return in the EP's final track, "Prince of Darkness" a spooky, waltzing tune that in tempo and tenor is far from where the EP began. Ovoid uses the flute, less as a thin, accompanying sample and more as a lead instrument, which refreshes the palate when taken with such a thoroughly electronic meal.
Ovoid's offering is true to its name, a musical abstraction that allows one to depart momentarily from his or her usual atmosphere and into a world of colorful, half-conceptualized thoughts borne out in melody. The production prowess displayed by Ovoid will not be lost on the diligent listener, and the material is truly so unique that it can be revisited over and over again, and unlike the avocado which you just bought ripe yesterday, it will still be fresh.