The Oscillation - U.E.F.

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2018-03-02
The Oscillation - U.E.F.
The Oscillation - U.E.F.

U.E.F. is The Oscillation’s fifth album and is brought to us by Fuzz Club. On this album Demian Castellanos. dispenses with the Psychedelic songs of the previous album and replaces them with two long electronic tracks.

Flight Sequence starts with an ominous drone, a slight tremolo effect and some phased sounds. Castellanos is setting the scene here. The sounds are somewhere between Kosmische and Industrial. After three minutes some structure arrives in the shape of an arpeggiated synth that takes the track into the realms of John Carpenter or the Berlin School, albeit slightly harsher. Slowly the layers build until the drums kick in after 6 minutes. Again, the layers are built up and the song now has a definite groove, with maracas accentuating it. It’s quite like the more Indie/Psychedelic side of 90s Dance Music (Chemical Brothers, etc.). Halfway through most of the tracks drop out and then Castellanos builds it up again. These are classic Techno dynamics, the difference being that, as with the Chemical Brothers, there’s so much going on. It’s equally a headphones track and a dancefloor track, as it has the momentum and exhilaration of a club track. The structure and arrangement means that the 22 minutes pass surprisingly quickly. This is not a meandering, Psychedelic jam.

The second side of the album is taken up by the title track. Again, it starts quietly with touches of Autobahn and layers of Tangerine Dream-like drones. The Kosmische music builds, but without a beat. You have that expectation that a beat is going to drop but without the release. When the drums do finally come in they are actually as part of a pulling back of the track. This is a fascinating tactic, especially give the more obvious Techno dynamics of the first track. Of course, Castellanos then starts to build the layers back up and also build up the beat. Again, there is a hell of a lot going on – drones, arpeggios, fragments of guitar and synth. The track continues to ebb and flow as a tom-tom beat is introduced, followed by a more standard ‘four-to-the-floor’ beat that is then built up again.

The move away from the safe Psychedelic genre might annoy fans of 2016’s Monographic, but you will be rewarded if you stick with it. As Hookworms have just proved, going electronic can be an excellent decision, if the writing, playing and imagination are equal to it. U.E.F. has, to me, made The Oscillation a lot more interesting than they previously were. They are no longer just a Psychedelic band, they are a band to watch just to see what direction they take. And they are a band that you can follow in that direction.

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