Album Review: Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves

Photo Credit: Brooke Bouldry

Octo Octa

Between Two Selves

100% Silk Records

Release Date: May 28, 2013

 

Track Listing

1.      Who I Will Become

2.      Bad Blood

3.      Please Don’t Leave

4.      Come Closer

5.      His Kiss

6.      Work Me

7.      Uneasy

8.      Fear

 

 

Brooklyn-based producer and electronic artist Michael Bouldry-Morrison writes, produces and records under the moniker of Octo Octa. And this year looks to be a rather big year for Bouldry-Morrison – he recently finished a European tour, has done several collaborations with LA Vampires and was selected to participate in this year’s Red Bull Music Academy. Additionally, a few weeks ago marked the release of his latest effort, Between Two Selves, the Los Angeles-based electronica label 100% Silk’s first double 12 inch vinyl release (which you can also purchase electronically through your favorite digital purveyor of music). Sonically, the material on the album is lush and densely layered – in fact, it’s so gorgeously lush that it shimmers and glistens with slick synthesizers and wobbly reverb and bass that makes it all sound ethereal and otherworldly as though you’re listening to the tracks under water. Tracks like “Bad Blood” and my favorite track on the album “Please Don’t Leave” reveal that the whole album is subtly influenced by old school house, R&B, drum and bass and rave techno, often backed by icily precise synths and robotic vocal samples that drift and float through the mix, seemingly at will. “Come Closer” “His Kiss” and “Work Me” employ the same dreamily ethereal feel but with seductively thumping bass and a warm, whirring buzz – reminding listeners that there’s substance holding the ethereal nature of Octo Octa’s sound together. Indeed, underneath the seeming iciness of the album’s eight tracks, there’s hidden, human warmth underneath. 

   I have to admit that 100% Silk’s releases this year have been both remarkably consistent and amazing sonic experiences – while being slickly produced, it’s probably the most thoughtful and intriguing techno you’ll hear. Certainly Octo Octa continues their win streak but it’s also won its way into my regular rotation of late as it’s the sort of forward-thinking electronica with a quiet but warm nostalgic center at its heart that I can imagine DJs playing everywhere this summer.