Ocoeur (aka Frank Zaragoza) takes a straightforward recipe for chill electronica, gives it a few shakes, and pours out the delicious blend that is Light As A Feather. Starting off from (and coming back to) a basic sound-set reminiscent of harp, dulcimer, and music boxes, Zaragoza melds today’s glitch styles with laid-back IDM that conjures sharp memories of its ancestry. The disc kicks off with the sparkling, high notes and energy of the first few tracks. I particularly like the segue between “Resonance” and “Reconstruction.” The first is a quiet, beat-based drift. Crunchy glitch crackles over a low-volume bass line and echoing keys. It’s a brain-massager of a thing. The second enters, sharp and bright by contrast, on ringing chimes and string pads. Shortly thereafter, the tone takes an interesting shift. “My Love” is a simple and beautiful piano solo backed with the sound of rainfall. It’s lovely, but suffers from what has to be a huge editing gaffe at the very end. I have to imagine the rain sound was intended to cross into the start of the following track, “Arret Sur Image,” but just before the end of “My Love,” it cuts out completely. There’s a half-second’s pause, and then “Arret…” jump-cuts into its start. Even a fade at the end of “My Love” would have served Zaragoza better. Getting past that, we move into the sighing flow of “Arret…” and then comes what is perhaps undeniably the best piece on a very strong release. “Astral Projection” is fantastically catchy, carrying a bit of Kruder & Dorfmeister DNA in its laid-back groove. Zaragoza even digs up the ubiquitous vinyl scratch at the start of this homage to mid-90s lounge. Thumping, steady-count bass drum and glitch percussion pave the way for cool organ chords and pads. This lays the basis for the disc to return to its glitch-and-glitter sound-set on “Feather” and “I.II.” It closes with “Envol,” a dreamy ambient piece composed in somnambulistic pads finding their way across a field recording of children’s voices. It bring the disc to a hushed close.
Light As A Feather is an easy disc to fall into repeat play with. It’s nicely constructed and stands up to deep listens. There’s a lot of dimension to each track, and the manner in which Zaragoza weaves old and new styles doubles the effectiveness of his grooves. Another excellent dose of melodic electronica from the increasingly impressive n5MD label. Check this one out asap.
Available at n5MD.