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IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
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Music
 

The Octopus Project grabs Norman in its tentacles for a show


Danny Marroquin July 31st, 2008

At one point during Josh Lambert's studies at The University of Texas, he tested boundaries in a few music theory classes, but left them for the wide open spaces rock 'n' roll allows. "I got burnt ou...

At one point during Josh Lambert's studies at The University of Texas, he tested boundaries in a few music theory classes, but left them for the wide open spaces rock 'n' roll allows.

"I got burnt out on that quickly," Lambert said. "I felt like everyone in there was not really interested in music. They were interested in impressing people or whatever. We never talked about how music made you feel or why something was awesome. Just why this chord is augmented. It just didn't jibe with me at the moment."

Weaving fluid sonic landscapes, The Octopus Project's latest album, "Hello, Avalanche," contains elements of the formal in pretty piano lines and elements of the alien with a sci-fi theremin. The Austin, Texas-based band's mostly instrumental songs owe part of their pivoting energies to the minds that voraciously accumulate music.

Lambert listens to everything. In a five-minute span, he'll rotate German electro pioneers Kraftwerk and Texas heavy metal act The Sword. Considering he first heard The Velvet Underground and Nico's "All Tomorrow's Parties" when he was 14 years old while on a trip with his parents, one could expect his future band to search outside the verse/chorus/verse paradigm. But for Lambert " the Project's guitar player and keyboardist " even the house and van are potential instruments.

"We'll record anything around the house with a cool noise," he said. "That's kind of what we are about: figuring out new sounds from anywhere. We don't really have any boundaries or anything."

WARBLING ALIEN EFFECT
The theremin " a type of early synthesizer responsible for the warbling alien effect in many Fifties B movies " provides the closest thing to a signature element in "Hello, Avalanche." At the Norman Music Festival earlier this year, the doll-dressed and ultra-focused Yvonne Lambert compelled audiences as she waved an outstretched hand over the instrument's antenna like she was wielding a wand.

The Octopus Project's music projects a digital wash that differs from club electronica, thanks largely to scattershot guitar tones and oscillating drum tempos. Josh Lambert said the band works closely together when recording, pushing away any snippets the members don't all agree on.

"We tend to just start writing with kind of just exploring in mind," he said. "More like a sculpture or something, when you have a hunk of something and you are trying to figure out what it is. You are trying to whittle things down. The end result becomes something, but we never start off with that in mind." 

The result is an atmosphere that's ethereal by virtue of the instruments, but active and human by practice. The latest release gives the impression that Lambert hears music in his dreams " and he does.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, it turns out to be the stupidest thing I've ever made up," he said. "I have dreams all the time where I'm like, 'Oh, my God, this is the most amazing song I've ever heard.' I'll wake up and grab a keyboard and it'll be so ridiculously stupid. It never works out." "Danny Marroquin

 
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