Oslo Tapes - ØR

04 Jun 2021 - Thorsten

Krautrock, Electronica, Post-Punk, Psychedelia, Synthwave | Pelagic Records | Release date: 04 Jun 2021

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When an Italian Krautrock-trio calls themselves Oslo Tapes and then releases album for album of magical trips between several genres (but none of them is really “metal”) then you might expect them on many labels – but maybe not on Pelagic Records?

On the other hand, one must admit that the Berlin-based label is much more than just an assembly of awesome Post-Metal acts such as The Ocean, Briqueville or Rosetta; the label run by The Ocean-Mastermind Robin Staps has always had an open ear for music from “the other side”: Tiny Fingers or Silver Snakes, Twinesuns or Årabrot. And in that way, the addition of Oslo Tapes and the release of their third full-length ØR (Norwegian for “dizzy, confusing”) makes total sense!

The band around mastermind Marco Campitelli, who named after a trip to Norway had left him so deeply impressed that he wanted to capture the feeling of those days, says that the idea behind Oslo Tapes is “to harmonize the noise”. An intriguing idea because it basically says that the ugly shall turned to beauty and in some way that could be said for a lot of Pelagic bands, right? Maybe their musical ideas differentiate but in some ways the notion of finding and creating beauty out of dirt and ugliness is a unifying idea behind the label.

The various genres that the trio bassist Mauro Sparda and drummer/percussionist Davide di Virgilio and Campitelli for all the other instruments are widespread: Afrobeat (as in ”Bodø Dakar” complete with a very funky bassline and some very variable percussion), Shoegaze (listen to ”Kosmik Feels” with its dreamy guitarlines and vocals) and even as far out as some EDM (compare the Depeche Mode-like industrial beats in the final track “Obsession Is The Mother Of All“).

However, the idea of repetition upon repetition combined with a lot of synth and moog-sounds cannot but remind one of modern Krautrock and Psychedelia. Both genres have a similar approach with the aim at trying to induce a trance-like condition in the listener. A perfect example is the opening track ”Space Is The Place” which has only one real wooden percussion beat that is supported by a lot of synth-work. Upon that foundation the various harmonies and noises lead the listener astray for a moment before the basic elements take the superior role again.

ØR is really cleverly arranged electronic krautrock with lots of different elements and assets from other genres but all of it is so well-interwoven that one might say that this is what Maserati should sound like: ambitious, highly effective and real emotional. Because the music is able to transport one to another space (especially when listening to it on headphones). A place where time and space are no longer the defining constants but merely variables. The music and its effect is defining where and when we are. And this is definitely a really good, really fitting addition to the Pelagic-roster!