ODAE Ataraxic

[#veryjazzed; 2019]

Styles: electronic, abstract, breath, texture, voice, concrete
Others: Arca, Organ Tapes, Laurel Halo, Amnesia Scanner, Slauson Malone

Beats that whisper, pumping. Fluid structures, never landing. Milky and thick like cement. Slipping through spaces, breathing. ODAE presents tangible motifs out of less suggestive sonic fodder — static, clicks, hums. These motifs never clear the way, emerging just to the top, surface tension molding, revealing their form under a thin viscous layer of that which preceded them. There’s a formal sense of breath here; evenly distributed and regular, it never fully subsides.

Living with a light intensity (lighter than that of many of its deconstructed club predecessors, may be less spectacular for it, might be a good thing; peaks are turned down, rests are turned up). It sways and trips, stumbles and moans, purrs its way through a minuscule situation. It creeps out of background ambience. It dips in and falls back, as matter does. It moves and vibrates and sits alongside you. Synths skitter and jump, a fragment here a fragment there, a new mood, dim lighting.

This one is built through many nodes. Sustained, shimmering, trickling in. Adeptly sculpting, it draws a hook into the tender and nostalgic-to-a-fault musical vocabulary of aughts indie-electronic auteurs (Bon Iver, Animal Collective, Baths, The Books, Raleigh Moncrief) and yanks that music forward into the future. ODAE looks forward as though the future could be sweet, or rather posits that the future could be lived sweetly, no matter its aggressions and tensions. It holds onto this untenable fiction — built of the same falsehoods that evoke nostalgia — and extends it forward for a second, past the present.

It rips into these feelings, too. Dread like sinking. A poor sense of self-image. Disappointment toward everything at hand. A low hum. Dial tone, like cicadas or a twerking LED. Actuality, not escape, but striving. Blooming and unbecoming, assuming form and dipping out shortly thereafter, the weekly cycle. The loop and the dissolution, trackpad click echoing. Without demarcation, the process of living becomes a texture. Here’s a lifely music.


Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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