Recollection (2005) is the most rewarding kind of environmental ambience, particularly in those moments that brilliantly dissolve the boundary between music and environmental noise.

artist:
Oti

country of origin:
UK

style(s):
Ambient, environmental, sound collage

decades active:
2000's

essential releases:

  • Recollection (2005, Audiobulb Records)

Reviewed by Mike G

Merging music deeply with environmental sounds - as distinct from just layering location recordings on top of music - has long been a pursuit among serious ambient composers. Brian Eno's pioneering albums such as On Land (1982) set a standard, and the benchmark today is set by the the likes of Japanese composer Tetsu Inoue and Norway's Biosphere. That's where Damion Beail aka Oti comes in. He's worked with Tetsu Inoue in the past and this album of part-music and part natural sound collage - the only Oti album released to date - is comparable to Inoue's best work.

Recollection (2005) is the most rewarding kind of environmental ambience, particularly in those moments that brilliantly dissolve the boundary between music and environmental noise. Subtle droning chords and traces of melodies intermingle with locations sounds sourced from Beail's childhood and a trip he took through Poland. A snaking synth here, a Hammond organ there, reversed sounds, whispered voices...and that's just the first few minutes. At the right volume this shifting series of impressions hovers on the edge of perception, allowing your attention to dip in and out as you please, but wallpaper it is not. The album was years in the making, meticulously planned and refined, and sounds it.

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