Sunday, February 19, 2006

Steve Gilmore Reviews: Onager - Seeds Of The End

Artist: Onager
Title: Seeds Of The End

Onager: catapult: medieval artillery used during sieges; a heavy war engine for hurling large stones and other missiles. Asiatic wild ass. btw, make sure you read that properly. That's 'wild ass' not 'wise ass'. Fortunately, this Onager is none of those things (well maybe a BIT of wise ass :D ). He's an MP3 Unsigned artist from Colwyn Bay in Wales who I have come across once before when I reviewed his Dark Glass (July 2005) which - although it was heavily into electronica - I quite liked but thought that it was an instrumental looking for a vocal. Nonetheless, it still struck me as a very decent, dark edged peice that worked well as an instrumental but still missed that essential ingredient.

Seeds Of The End is - if anything - even more electronic than Dark Glass, except this time coming down on the electro-pop sound of the early 1980's as opposed to the slightly colder style of the Gary Numan style. Definitely trance inspired, full of hard edged synth sequences and an absolutely rock solid (if slightly boring) drum track, this is a track made for dancing. If I were a dancing man (I can't any more, me Zimmer Frame keeps getting in the way) then this would definitely feature in my playlist - electronica or not. The sounds employed and the mix it is encased in are very complimentary, helping the track so you don't really notice the amount of repetition going on.

So, on 'feel' this works, but I'm afraid I can't say the same for the rest of the track.

There's a looseness in the arrangement that doesn't do this track any favours, and that looseness leads to a section that screams out 'this doesn't work'. Now maybe this is just me being me (ie awkward, pedantic and a right royal pain in the butt) but to my mind, that spells confusion on the artists part about what should be happening there. There is a distinct mismatch in the way the sounds meld together and maybe that's a bit of artistic license, but it doesn't work for me. This is particularly noticeable at 1:40 where the bass and synths sound like they are fighting each other for the melody line. In all other respects this is a very neat trance track that would do well enough in it's genre but with a bit of tidying up and a beefing up of the drum tracks this could even rise up above its genre. The section around 3:00 works like a s.o.b and I'd prefer to hear a bit more of that then the problematic bits I have already spoken about. If, however, your intention is just to dance your ass off and not pay much attention to what's making you do that, this will definitely do the trick.

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