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The Oscillation
Singularity Zone Vol. 1 Julian Marszalek , August 3rd, 2022 07:57

More journeys throgh inner space with psychedelic explorer Demian Castellanos and co

While birth and death remain at opposite ends of the spectrum of mortality, they’re united in a bizarre commonality. After all, no one asks for either and, crucially, neither can be reported on from a first-hand point of view. And yet what of re-birth? Or at least that from the perspective of musical shift?

Singularity Zone Vol.1 is the next step of a journey that has seen The Oscillation mutate and grow over their last few albums as they – or, at least, sole constant member Demian Castellanos – explore the many sonic possibilities that psychedelia can offer. While 2018’s UEF found Castellanos experimenting with sequencers and analogue equipment, it’s follow-up, Wasted Space was a consolidation of that approach with the addition a post-punk sensibility that ramped up the groove. Meanwhile, the righteous howl of rage that ripped from the centre of 2021’s Untold Futures was wrapped in dense layers of guitars, squalls, squelches and relentless low-end throb wherein Castellanos appeared to disappear into the music’s intensity. His voice became less a vehicle for singing as part of the instrumentation. This, then, was a reflection as much of where he was at as of the ramifications of what we’d all experienced over the previous eighteen months.

With Castellanos now relocated from London to the Czech countryside, his new environment has clearly had a positive effect on him and his music. Replacing the aggression and frustration of his most recent releases with a warm and fragrant beauty, Singularity Zone Vol.1 , The Oscillation’s eighth full length album, explores the possibility of sound collages, drones, expansive washes of sound, and a shared aesthetic with Autotelia, the project he’d partnered on with the late Tom Relleen. It is both a re-birth and the next logical step for him to take.

As evidenced by the gorgeously alluring synth sweeps, breaths and bass pulses of opener ‘I Am’, Castellanos is not only a student and graduate of the celebrated Berlin School, he’s also a standard bearer. This is music that soothes like a balm as it envelopes the senses to signal the first step of an incredible voyage. Indeed, with each step, Castellanos slowly yet methodically increases the intensity with a sensitivity that simultaneously teases and seduces. Witness ‘Mind Unveiled’ where the guitars turn up the heat yet blend seamlessly with the soundscapes that burn at the track’s core. Jem Doulton’s subtle yet insistent work on the toms and cymbals never threatens to overwhelm; instead they compliment the sounds that surround them.

The six pieces of music that make up Singularity Zone Vol.1 are best experienced in a single sitting. An expedition into inner and outer space, this is a breathtaking experience that displays another facet of this restless and creative psychedelic explorer.