2013/19 : Heroism & Solipsism

Joseph Campbell -whom you might already know- argues that the function of the hero is not to simply experience things beyond the narrow possibilities of triviality, but to share them and thus make them available to everyone. Now going by this explanation, one might rightfully declare Chris Octane a hero, for what he brings with him from his newest journey into digitality and sound truly is quite an experience.

It might be an unusual word nowadays, but the debut release of his own label CO Recordings (or CO:RE) is overall mature. And by that I don’t only mean the two tracks’ speech samples that suggest a deeper notion of things than the average talk provides, I’m thinking about the whole fabric of composition and detail, sound and emotion. Like in all the great works of the few artists that everyone seems to look up to, Synthetics and Gaia’s Dub too share a seeming dichotomy: whilst being convincingly simple on the outside, each sound -be it a gnarling bass, an outburst of percussion, a dreamy pad or a lush cymbal- is beautifully crafted and offers a small world in itself. Synthetics starts off with one of the aforementioned speeches that almost solipsistically question perception; but let me assure you, this track is big in all kinds of realities, for the uplifting introduction soon gives way to a massive roll of deep waves and rhythmic subtleties, leaving lots of space though for the bass to breathe without ever feeling empty. The flip Gaia’s Dub is a sub-laden half-tempo march, funky and yet thoroughly earthed while twisting and turning freely like a floating mountain. Most refreshing however is that both tracks don’t subject to any known formula of modern bass music, and so while being among the finest contributions to contemporary low-end adoration they artistically go their own way. And I figure that’s greatness.

Chris Octane – Synthetics / Gaia’s Dub (CO Recordings)

Further reading: Interviews with Chris Octane at Urban Essence and DNB Dojo


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