“Everything is the 6th album by Bordeaux-based experimental electronic music composer Franck Zaragoza’s Ocoeur epithet. For this new full-length, Zaragoza quantumly pushes the Ocoeur sound into the depths of synth-based ambient enclaves. Zaragoza blends such “ambience,” at the opportune times, with his now trademark careening sound-design focused beat work. The album’s closing tracks, the 20-minute pairing of “Dawn” and “Dusk,” find Zaragoza tempering his sound to near minimal to share his exemplification of long-form ambient bliss. The beauty in these two works displays an archetypal signpost to Everything’s overall intentions: We currently, collectively, have our heads down, gazing into a device, as any subway or bus trip will attest. We tend to miss so much around us, and by interacting through these devices, communication often is somewhat cold and solitary. It’s becoming essential more than ever to slow down and engage with “everything” around us. Zaragoza’s aspirations for “Everything” is quite simple: for it to be the soundtrack to the palpable interactions with your environment and those in it. “
Ambient music doesn’t tend to be the music of choice while driving. The reason simply is that you can lose the definition of the music and let the sounds of the outside world in (which I am sure John Cage would argue is itself is a form of music). With the latest Ocoeur release I am finding myself listening to it while driving for the simple fact that it is the type of music which removed you from the situational frustration that is driving. From the outset Zaragoza surrounds you with lush, near throbbing synth pads on “Ascent” which create a textured, multifaceted ambience that pushes and pulls, lulls and wraps around the listener. It sets up the rest of the album and feels very much a true signifier for one aspect of the n5MD aesthetic. The title track takes us into areas of deep presences of space both figuratively and literally with the ever so slight tinge of something slightly ominous about to happen. A very retro soaked sound the pulsing synths and dark bass lines are suited to a stark minimalist science fiction film about isolation. The shortest track on the album “Current” continues Zaragoza’s melodic touches, but this time in more abstract fashions with a percussive like sound that gives you the impression of running water that has been put through a variety of patches and other forms of manipulations. The track shows the more moodier aspects of the music, but definitely maintains the feel of the two tracks preceding it.
“Glow” evolves out an ambient heart with a delicate bouncing ball like melodic motif that leads onto Zaragoza’s journey into classic IDM territory. While beats have appeared prior to this piece (like the second half of “Everything”), this time they are more pronounced in their intention. Gritty, Crunchy and stumbling at odd directions they juxtapose against the more ambient and melodic nature of the piece ever so nicely. When you tend to focus your attention on them you are then drawn back to the ambience of the piece as it’s once the beats take hold as does the rest of the elements. As the press release alludes to the final pairing of “Dawn” and “Dusk” (which I assuming with the lengths of all the tracks signifies their position as the B side of the album) is a reduction of what has come before to a more minimal form of ambience. The drones are long and melodic, but with a tinge of melancholy embedded into them. Their is a natural difference between the two pieces in that “Dawn” while it being melancholic, there is still a tone that communicates some form of hope, as if a new day will bring better things with it. The contrasting “Dusk” has a similar sort of structure, probably even more minimal in it’s peaks and troughs, but with an almost metallic like edge to the drones that give it a weighty sort of feel which gives the impression of being weighed down with what has occurred during the day. It is not all, sturm and drang, but there is a certain reflection on occurrences.
“Everything” is a consistent follow up to Zaragoza’s last album “Inner” with the thread between the albums being apparent. This time ’round though Zaragoza has moved more to the light from the more moodier and introspective predecessor. I guess this is where the part of the press quote about our removal of what is happening around us and the beauty we could be missing out on if we could only remove ourselves from our self imposed solitariness. “Everything” will be available on limited clear LP, CD and Digital from February 28.