Niagara - Hyperocean - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Niagara - Hyperocean

by Mark Steele Rating:6 Release Date:2016-05-08

Here is the third instalment, entitled Hyperocean, from Turin's surreal electro-glitchers Niagara. It has been more or less fived months on from Don't Take It Personally Remixes, which has allowed  the duo of David Tomat and Gabriele Ottino, time to develop their newest project.

Opener 'Mizu' could be a japanese reference, judging by the title, the water-over-stones effects, and the vocal snippets.There is a simple, compressed beat, over which surreal organ chords phase in and out. The galactic landing on 'Hyperocean' and glitch samples have a skipping beat accompanied by robotic vocals with choppy drums and bass.

The scatty 'Escher Surfers' has a retro 90s rave music loop with the vocal phrase: "Ask yourself you on a level/ Put yoursef upon a level". 'Blackpool' is slighly haunting, using some high-tone sonar notes, but doesn't really go anywhere. The wavering orchestration on 'Firefly' is pretty standard and not going to raise an eyebrow now, as it has been done so many times, Mesmerising drone on 'Fogdrops' possess several synth layers, in addition to low-level mumblings and chilled vocals which are quite effective.

More wavering distant synth chords on 'Roger Waters' only this time a menacing buzzing bass is involved. There is a reversed sample of what sounds like water hitting some shale, then the beat drops in a epileptic swiftness then seems to edge in some strings, followed by some power drills. It was in the end migraine inducing. Steady laid back groove on 'Drift' with scattered signal tones around a harmonised lullaby-esque melody. Then a smooth reedy bass  enters followed some wavery string and organ.  Skippy jazzy rythms feature on 'Solar valley' and hold a Tracey Thorn-esque vocal section for a brief moment, then appears some  glitch-hop beats under metalloid harmonies

Sci-fi film theme orchestration layers on 'Twin Horizons' includes whispering wavering vocals, harmonised and quite eerie, that could have been part of the Interstellar film sountrack, and finally 'Alfa 11' a low octave music box type melody, allowing smooth vocals, which happily shuffle along in a minimalist fashion.

Hyperocean has 2 to 3 tracks that could have been the basis of new direction for Niagara. They have over repeated the wavery sounds and drone organ sound for too long, as Hyperocean fails to make waves .Vanillacola as a song on the DTIP album was great, fresh, and bright,. Why did they not continue using that sound? There needs to be a reassessment, a rethink to see what uniquely works well, and in doing so, David and Gabriele could really be making further waves in electronica.

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