14 May 2016

Okada’s darkly cinematic debut album

okada-debutalbum

While the weather is getting hotter in May, we come with a breath­taking ambient & electro acoustic record. We never release any album we don’t really like for any reason, all the albums in our catalogue are the albums we think they are the albums which must be in our personal music archive as well. Okada label debut is even beyond that, it has already become one of our favourites of ambient & electro­acoustic genres.

Okada is a project by Greg Pappas from Alabama, US. Initially known to the music world as ZXYZXY, Greg used it as a vehicle for experimentation and refinement of his writing technique while dabbling in electro­acoustic, ambient, post­rock and even wonky genres. It wasn’t until the Summer of 2014 that he felt his music clicked into place seemingly out­of­nowhere under Okada.

This time around the only constant in the creative process was that there was no focus on any one way to bring out the music. No guides. No genre sign posts. Just as long as the road to the final product was a visceral experience.

Okada (album) is darkly cinematic, but it’s never bleak or depressing. In fact, the bubbly female vocals haunt the music, lifting it up with caring hands out of the dark mire and into a subdued electronic coloring that sits easily with the listener. It’s a bruise that discolors the music’s original pale skin, her original pale genre, and the vanilla blooms into a new, shady gem right in front of our eyes. The low, dull sound of classical instrumentation has been brushed aside like a September cobweb, cleaned of its original timbre. An ambient layer peels itself away, and later a hushed electronic beat shuffles itself and the music forward, proving that electronic rhythms can indeed be subtle, caring and sophisticated.

Conflicting emotions cycle through the music. It can lead to serenity but it can also bring a flood of intense love. It’s gentle, fragile, the cycling beat and the melancholic black and white notes flowing naturally, freely. It’s graceful music that lives and breathes a seemingly simple life in the face of musical complexity. There are a lot of layers underneath its surface; a slowly shifting labyrinth of sound that continually takes you by surprise.

Listen, buy or download this album