This morning I am relaxing with my usual cup of coffee, and I just pressed play on this interesting new release from Onyx Kers Spel titled GORILLA VISTA, released March 27th 2014, it’s available physically/digitally via Not Working Musicassettes bandcamp.
Coined as an album of internet soft-rap/rock, I can’t quite agree with the tags (which isn’t a bad thing). But what it is is a very washed out pop vibe, painted with reluctant but spacey vocals and off-kilter riffs. Very lo-fi aesthetics easily drop this into a category of sound that floats within genres, most often described as experimental and freak-folk, there are flavors of punk and electronic music on this one as well. The steady use of the guitar as a rhythmic instrument, paired with the mysterious vocals, gives these tracks more a feeling of songwriters efforts than simply psychedelic jams.
Taking the album as a whole, we have 13 tracks at just about 40 minutes of music; most of the tracks feature some unique synthesizer tones as well as interesting used of guitar and vocals as I have mentioned. Trippy riffs move the album forward at a comfortable pace, songs feeling neither too long nor short, creating a very relaxing listening experience. Even the most energy-filled tracks off this release are lathered in tones which induce a sense of “letting go”.
Now though this is my first exposure to Onyx Kers Spel, apparently this artist (group?) has been making tunes since at least 2012, at least as far as I can tell. This release has the vibe of amateur bedroom recording, while being a popular sonic choice of plenty of todays musical projects, might deserve to be cleaned up a little! Tracks such as “Heaved Heft (Jesus in His Hair Shop)” seem simply so interesting that the lo-fi one take style almost holds back the appeal of the track! I want to hear the vocals and synths clear and articulated it my ears so I can fully embrace the structure and ideas! Some tracks from GORILLA VISTA certainly deserve and need the lo-fi treatment, such as “Clam Wish” and “Trees Up Until The Sky”, using epic reverb and trippy sounds to create a strange sound collage that really WORKS.
Overall, I enjoyed this release, there were some very weird and interesting ideas over the course of the album, and I look forward to hearing further projects from this artist. You can download/stream the album for free, or purchase a cassette copy for $3USD (+shipping) via the labels bandcamp.