“What the hell am I listening to?” No seriously, that was my reaction to Oscillitron’s Eclipse EP. I’ve never heard anything like it.
While Eclipse isn’t necessarily a bad EP, you’re gonna have to strap on your big-boy listening ears to get a hold of it. It’s like the soundtrack to a video game from six years ago, but in this instance it’s a video game you love. While the collected work probably won’t win your heart, it’s not an ear-sore, some of it is actually pretty good.
As an electronic-music producer, I’m sad to see artists that have confused “style” with “using the same basic wave form over and over.” That, and improper mixing techniques are my pet peeves with electronic music. You have to have a lot more subtlety, and a much more noticeable distinction between your sounds to earn a passing grade in EDM than you do in acoustic-based music. Oscillitron is headed in the right direction, but this EP just doesn’t quite have it.
“Embryo” is… an unfortunate no no no no no in my tastes booklet. As someone who loves trance and ambient music, you can trust my opinion when I say this song doesn’t go anywhere. While it fits the above description of feeling like something out of a videogame, it’s one of those songs on the video game soundtrack that you never add to your personal playlists; especially with a full minute of nothing but waves breaking at the end of the song.
“Dawn” does considerably better; but only perhaps because it reminisces a few of the favorites in my own library. It’s still heavily lacking the variety of sounds and proper mixing, so it’s not a gem by much. However, of all the songs in Eclipse, it’s the best-produced, as well as the best at conveying a message of power that’s appealing in most good electronic music.
“Oracle” isn’t half bad either, still very heavy in the “Video Game Theme” department, quite a bit more exciting. It’s much more progressive than the two songs it follows, and feels a lot more like a scene in a movie than a video game. The sounds here almost make it off the “stop reusing all of your sounds for the love of all that is pure and holy” list, and I were it not on that list, I might be inclined to recommend it out.
About this point in the EP, my mind tapers off to video games, or movies, not music.
“Assembly” is right back in the “no thanks” department. The same sounds, an uninteresting drum rack. Repetition is really only okay if you do something interesting. This song does not. I feel like anyone with three hours of production experience could recreate this and use it as the background for a Mavis Beacon installment.
“Terror” does a little better. The sounds aren’t all the same, which is a tremendous improvement. However, it’s the same dull attempt at something spooky or powerful that “Assembly” and “Dawn” were.
Eclipse will appeal to some. Oscillitron has a chance, but not with this style. And not with what feels like a profound lack of effort. It’s a little disheartening. Feel free to call me out on this one.