Monographic is the follow up to Beyond The Mirror, a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks which I’ve previously reviewed here. Monographic was self recorded in London over the Summer of 2015 and features seven brand new tracks including the forthcoming single ‘Truth in Reverse’. It has been released on limited edition vinyl, CD and digital download, the latter two formats having three bonus tracks: ‘Alignment Zone’ (extended), ‘Lonely People’ (ambient) and ‘The End Of Conscious Thought’.
Essentially the project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Demian Castellanos, The Oscillation was formed in London in 2006 with the release of the debut seven-inch and Rough Trade Records ‘single of the week’; ‘New Way To Feel’ on Bee And Smoke records. Drawing inspiration from The Cure, Loop, Can, The Durutti Column, PIL, Spacemen 3, Popol Vuh and Chrome, they’ve since gone on to release three critically acclaimed studio albums; ‘Out Of Phase’ (2007), ‘Veils’ (2011) and ‘From Tomorrow’ (2013). Over the last few years The Oscillation have also appeared on several highly rated compilation albums and provided remixes for the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Telepathe, Nick Nicely and most recently the Fat White Family.
Monographic is an outstanding release which really highlights the talents of The Oscillation. There’s a great vibe to the album which features 9 excellent songs. These are definitely much greater than the sum of their parts, as well as the playing and vocals, the arrangement and production are similarly excellent. There’s some excellent grooves, fuzzed out pysch and a great ambience at times too.
Excellent opening riff with swirling haunting background sounds, the song has a great momentum from solid drumming and bass. The vocals have a spoken style and a great attitude. There’s a great groove to the song which contrasts really well against the layered background sounds. There are really nice changes in feel and a great psychedelic vibe.
Take us to the Moon
I really like the use of wah on the opening of the song, there’s a great distorted toned guitar too. Drumming provides a solid momentum and there’s some excellent synth sounds. Another psychedelic song with an uptempo vibe and a really good change in feel. There’s excellent layered sounds using delay and feedback again too.
Let it be the End
A great soundscape, there’s an excellent ambience to this song with a great contrasting edge from really well layered drone type sounds and sound effects. The vocals are superb, they have an ethereal or ghostly presence at times.
Truth In Reverse
A feedback like sound to open, the drumming and bass create an excellent groove accompanied by a riff which has a hypnotic looping quality. The vocals sit slightly behind the beat, have a laidback feel and are processed really well. The song has great hypnotic qualities with an edge from well layered feedback and distorted sounds.
An uptempo song with great opening riff and feedback, the drumming and bass provide an excellent momentum. The vocals have a great presence and there’s an urgency to the song which has a great change to a more laid back vibe leading to a solo and some really nice feedback to end the song.
There’s a great tension to the opening of this song leading into excellent vocals again. The drumming and bass gives a great momentum whilst maintaining a laid back feel. Distorted guitar riffs weave in and out of the verses building tension really well. There’s an excellent solo too which builds tension to a final release.
Another great soundscape to open with synth, feedback and delayed sounds. The song evolves a great ambience, developing more of a noise / drone feel before drums and bass enter to give an excellent change of feel. The vocals are sparse and I really like how they sit more in the background. There’s also some really good feedback and delay effects and there’s a great release of built up tension to end the song.
Lonely People (Drone Mix)
Great opening to this version of the song, a really nice tension from feedback / distortion sounds. There’s great use of tremelo, the layering creates a real simmering quality. The vocals offer a great soothing contrast to the harsher elements, tension builds excellently and there’s a great contrast between hypnotic and noise/drone elements.
The End of Conscious Thought
A great ambient soundscape, there’s a great edge of tension to the song and great movement in the sounds used. The song evolves really well.
The Oscillation have also embarked on several dates in the UK and Europe with a band line up that sees Demian Castellanos (guitar/vocals) and Valentina Magaletti (drums) joined by Tom Relleen (bass) and Cathy Lucas (keys). The dates have recently been expanded to include more UK dates:
22 Mar 2016 DE Berlin Bassy
23 Mar 2016 CZ Prague 007
24 Mar 2016 HU Budapest Dürer Kert
25 Mar 2016 AT Vienna Rhiz
26 Mar 2016 AT Innsbruck PMK
27 Mar 2016 FR Strasbourg No Smoking
02 Apr 2016 FR Lille PZZLE #2 à la Maison Folie de Moulins w/ Tomaga, Zombie Zombie
08 Apr 2016 DE Cologne King Georg
09 Apr 2016 CH Luzern Treibhaus
11 Apr 2016 CH Zurich Boschbar
12 Apr 2016 CH Winterhur Kraftfeld
13 Apr 2016 CH Dudigen Bad Bonn
14 Apr 2016 CH Lausanne Le Bourg
29 Apr 2016 UK Nottingham The Lofthouse
30 Apr 2016 UK Manchester Gullivers
21 May 2016 FR Chateaulin Sonore Festival – Run ar Puns
04 Jun 2016 UK Todmorden The Golden Lion
10 Jun 2016 NL Eindhoven Psych Lab
14 Aug 2016 BE Geel Yellowstock Festival w/ Michael Rother