Omahara by OmaharaRelease date: July 13, 2017
Label: Art As Catharsis Records
So, bit shit for myself and everyone else living in a big city, but I’m starting to think good sounds, relating specifically to the divinity of nature, might actually be better if you live in some proximity TO nature. Case in point, album 2 by Omahara.
Released this year through Art As Catharsis (You’ve done it again AAC). The Tasmanian band’s second self-titled release is hard to put words to, but hey. It’s a landscape record, It’s a introspective record and it captures so perfectly what (I think) they’re trying to do. It takes the menacing world of dark ambient/dark drone and focuses us on the atmosphere in less of a macabre tone and more of a emphasised meditative tone, more in the way Drowning Horse or Neurosis use their genres to talk about similar shit.
I found out about this band like maybe 6-7 months ago and ended up listening to their 2014 release, and yeah it’s stunning. This on the other hand, the ideas are so much clearer, the production is so much more sophisticated. Defs next level shit. The creative process on display is great with some mixture of improvisation and structure in terms of how the drone ends and the post pops in, I assume this stuff has probably been worked at very meticulously till you had a refined idea, but then I could be totally off the mark.
As mentioned before, it’s a landscape record, the atmosphere that is created is a real rarity (coming through someone who primarily deals in drone). It’s very much about creating a landscape. With that, I’d like to talk a bit why landscape based music is so important, especially when the landscape isn’t a fast capitalist Metropolis, or some reflection of our own gross monuments. It deals with the divinity of everything that exists now and before it. This music provides something entirely separated from the heavily anthropomorphic context (lame shit about your feelings and society and whatever) some music dwells on. With that it reaffirms some very important things to me.
- All things are connected, and you’re constantly in the presence of truly amazing things if you pay attention to them, nature is a glaring reminder of that.
- Art isn’t in total service of us. It’s probably closer to the opposite a lot of the time, and it definitely doesn’t exist to only discuss a small amount of factors in people’s lives, if a band wants to use it to talk about human conditions/discuss opposition to social/political structures. More power to them. But (to me at least) it shouldn’t occupy all of our thought processes, like definitely some (and faux intellectuals who think caring about anything other than lame white dude problems can eat shit) but not all.
With that in mind, one characteristic this record has that to me, separates it from other stuff similar to it that I could hear in a year is that this record meditates on the aforementioned states, on the one hand there is a heavy focus on introspection, that’s an obvious byproduct of a lot of instrumental music, but even outside of the dynamic content, with the sparse nature of what’s presented to you, it’s really more of an invitation to take time to dwell in your own head for an hour or so. On the other hand you have moments like on untitled one which will present you with the post rawk section of the song, that is fairly engaging, fairly attention grabbing, but in a reasonably unique way. Also worth mentioning that the way they mix the 2 is very idiosyncratic and really quite personal.
Also, actually on that topic, pardon my use of lame promo jargon, but hard to pigeonhole into any genre is actually probably the most on the money description I could throw at this album. Like, they throw names around such as Mammifer or talk about Sunn o))) and the like, but to me it’s more like listening to a heavy drone version of the necks, everything is just so well considered, and builds so interestingly and organically (to them). Like, it’s not pure dark ambient like a GRIST record, there’s still big band shit happening, but it’s not big hi fi post rock either. Much like duh Necks, it’s a band with normal instruments making beautiful, ambient music .
We’re lucky to have the excloosieve premiuh of this record for all Echoes and Dust readers today. So stop reading, go find a quiet spot to appreciate this, and in solitude, find companionship in the natural world.