Hey Eeli, did you catch that new Oberland project?’

Sometimes it takes merely a single sentence to cause near-fatal heart palpitations simply out of excitement.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the various doings of one Frédéric D. Oberland, and site regulars might remember my Oiseaux-Tempête feature or the review/premiere I wrote for Oberland’s solo album Solstices last year amongst others, and those of you with (not-so-particularly) keen eye probably have noticed that I love him and what he does, plain and simple. I’ve spent my recent months going through a bunch of life-altering shit and have had Oiseaux-Tempête keep me close company amidst a select few others, including the new album from the project that’s the subject for today’s premiere.

Oberland is known to expand his sonic palette to no end by means of collaboration, whether within his main band or with other highly acclaimed musicians as off-shoots of sorts, the new album SIHR falling to the latter category. The line-up is simply eye-watering this time around, as we have Grégory DargentTony Elieh, and Wassim Halal rounding out the quartet destined to discover ‘a fertile no-man’s-land where trance and contemplation, jazz and electronica, acoustics and electricity would merge in a stimulating mystical magma.’  There’s not a single thing on this planet that would’ve stopped me from getting the early promo for the album, as there was none to block me from writing this premiere, when the PR dept caught us some time back. So here we are. Enough with my nonsense, take a deep breath and jump into the striking visuals tapestries and stunning aural nooks of “OhmShlag (Quake Tango)” from below;

Some trips are worth taking, and SIHR is one such journey that I will have a proper lecture disguised as a review prepared for it for next month for when it drops. Meanwhile we have the previous single “Oui-Ja’aa” (available alongside pre-orders over here) and “OhmShlag (Quake Tango)” to tide us over for another month. While I won’t go into as much detail as I could right now, know that the song above encapsulates the essence of the record rather well, introducing the tonal depths the quartet has reached in a sublime fashion, yet leaving plenty to discover to the sonic wilderness that SIHR is as a whole. But I guess that’s the point with releasing singles, no?

The PR wire provided us with some further words about the song and video;

In resonance with the title “OhmShlag”, and primarily with its subtitle “Quake Tango” Frédéric D. Oberland and Grégory Dargent (both musicians and photographers) have chosen to work as they have become accustomed to since their encounter: creating a four-handed, instinctive, and organic object, in a gesture worthy of the goddess Kali and her four arms (representing creation, preservation, destruction, and grace). The work is entirely done on Super 8 film, both color and black and white, hand-developed, and digitized by Grégory Dargent. Each had 3’20 to express themselves with their films, perfectly sharing the timing of the video clip. The result is raw images kept in negative as they appear for color, reversed for monochromes, sometimes bitten or attacked with acids to exult in this tango, this dance/ode to the end of times in the context of current events that deeply move us.’

The world might be in ruins for us in a multitude of ways at the moment and for the foreseeable future, but music – and especially that of this caliber – acts as a beacon of light through the abysmal murk surrounding us. While you do your best and what’s within your capacity to try to make things better, know that you’re not alone in any of it. There is power in numbers, and while our reach seems to be limited at times, all we can do is to pursue an outcome that tips the scale to the positive end.

SIHR will be out on May 24 – which just so happens to be my birthday (coincidence? I think not) – via Sub Rosa on vinyl, CD, and digital formats, and if you didn’t do so yet from the link I conveniently put above, you should do that right now from here. I am not done with these people nor am I with the album, so you just wait. Until then, ta-ta.

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