Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Ophiuco - Hybrid

Article by KevW


Leaving a gap of eight years between releasing your debut album and its follow-up might not always be the best plan for building momentum, but its unlikely to affect Italy's Ophiuco. Since 2007's 'Hypno Queue' the various members of the group have been involved in solo projects and other musical endeavors which will only have enhanced their reputation as an innovative and experimental collective, and the past form of Marino "Malima" Peiretti and Paolo "Ezua" Zangara as members of acclaimed drum and bass act IK14 won't have been forgotten.

New LP 'Hybrid' shows a quest for new sounds that are not so avant-garde as to become overly challenging or aloof. It's no wonder they've picked up favourable comparisons to the Bristol scene of the '90s that birthed the likes of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead. 'Hybrid' could be seen as a continuation of that movement and would probably be filed under the trip-hop tag. The album shifts between brooding, dark and Kafkaesque tracks like 'Ground' or spooky closer 'Game Machine', to more accessible numbers such as the beautifully wavering 'Srcowls Of Intention', atmospheric opener 'Desert' and the contrasting shades found in the deep grooves of 'Trip'.

Single 'Pneumatic Psycho Bodhidhara' fuses glitchy, angry electronics with an the most uptempo beat on the album to craft a song that still belongs in the twilight zone but is very compelling with it, and the jittery 'Figurato' is another that has single potential as it brings flashes of light to an otherwise shadowy record. Despite being largely a shady and mysterious collection of songs, 'Hybrid' has enough points that will engage more casual listeners, as well as hidden depths for those who want to fully devour this sonic soup. 'Hybrid' does, and will continue to, reveal more with each listen, and for an album that is the opposite of throwaway, surely its been worth waiting for.











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