Review | The Oscillation, Monographic | thegrindinghalt.com

The Oscillation is a project of UK-based multi-instrumentalist Demian Castellanos, who we first encountered on the excellent Kyvu Tapes, courtesy of our friends at the Cardinal Fuzz label. Monographic, released in March, is a psych tour de force that packs a lot in while never losing its focus or continuity as a complete album.

From the off, the phaser set to stun effects introducing the opener/title track’s Clinic/Brechtian oompah drone grabs you by the scruff and leads you thro’ fields of stars on a sci-fi psych trip to the next whiskey bar at the edge of the universe. As mentioned, there’s lots going on here, with the album’s seven tracks (the CD also contains two, bonus mixes) embracing elements of psych, epic Spacemen 3 drone haze (“Lonely People”), Hawkwind-style space rock (“Another Attack”), Scary Monsters style guitar wailing (“Take Us to the Moon”), early industrial, dub, dream pop (“Let It Be the End”), and chugging glam pomp (“Truth In Reverse”).

It takes work to bring all of these musical pieces together, and here they are brilliantly curated by Castellanos, whose sneering, breathy vocals recall Mark E. Smith, Robert del Naja, even Ian Brown in parts. He plays all instruments on the record, save the drums, which are provided by live band member Valentina Magalietti. Take the trip – it’s all about the journey.

Highlights include: “Truth In Reverse”, “Let It be the End”, “Monographic”, “Lonely People”.

Monographic is out now as a joint release of UK-based All Time Low and French label, Hands In the Dark. The album, and much else both Oscillation and Castellanos-related, is also available on The Oscillation’s bandcamp site. You can find out more on fbook and the band’s site, where you can also find their summer touring schedule.

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