16/12/2015 – Ocean Floor-Red Storm (2015)

Ocean Floor have re-released their 2014 album Jupiter on vinyl for the first time, originally being released on cassette through Zamzamrec. But be quick as there are only 150 copies and they’re selling fast!

 

 

As you’ve expect from the title and a cover,a picture of the planet Jupiter, its immense, awe inspiring and very celestial. The track titles are vague guides for what to expect within. Silver Telescope is the musical equivalent of looking through a telescope panning the night sky and finding what you were looking for, while shooting stars and comets wiz past. Epic organs play the part of the cosmos and whooshing synths are used dramatically to create the interstellar travellers. Raised Lines conjures up a scientific meeting, where the route the rocket will follow is plotted out. It’s serious but there are elements of excitement and uncertainty to it. Will the rocket reach its destination? What will be recorded along the way? Will the landing go smoothly? It’s all there in just under six minutes. Distant Ceiling recalls Ave Maria in its opening, but this is where the similarity ends, as the song broodily skews and sways along, never breaking a sweat, but definitely feeling the benefit for the workout.

 

 

Red Storm is one of the standout tracks on the album. Throbbing bass punctuates the piece. As the organs swell and diminish, the bass fills the gaps left, creating an abstract call and response that builds and builds as the song progresses. Final track Jupiter feels like the end of a journey, and in a way it is. As the rocket lands, the dust settles, mission control sees Jupiter for the first time. If it were a film the camera would pan band for miles, slowly, showing the enormity of planet and slowly fade out. Luckily this isn’t a film and the fade out isn’t sudden, but as the song progresses the vast immensity builds until the song almost falls over under its own weight.

 

 

Jupiter sounds somewhere between Gustav Holst, the 2001 soundtrack, Dr. Phibes and Captain Nemo but very measured and ambient at the same time. While the album feels very ridged and structured, you get the impression that nothing has been left to chance, there is an air a playfulness to the whole thing. This works well with the weighty compositions, as you aren’t overawed by them and you can digest them at your own speed. Ocean Floor have raised the bar sky high with Jupiter, let’s hope they can eclipse it next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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