In the 20 or so years that Oxia, AKA Olivier Raymond, has been making electronic music, he's dipped his fingers into a few different pies. Strangely, though, he only has one album to his name. (The 2004 techno/electro-based 24 Heures.) For his second outing, Raymond has teamed up with France's InFine for a full-length that takes its inspiration from places outside of the electronic sphere.
His new outlook is evident from the get go. After the beatless harmonies of "Premiss," those familiar with his older work may be taken aback by the jaunty bounce of second track "Rue Brusherie," an organic composition that features plenty of (what sounds like) live instrumentation. Cymbals interact with drums and piano keys, while a double bass forms the foundation of the track. There's even an organ to complete Raymond's virtual jazz band.
The rest of the LP follows suit, with the French producer experimenting with a range of different styles. At one stage he tries his hand at slowed-down folk pop with the wistful "Traveling Fast" (featuring the sublime vocals of Mesparrow). While another collaboration, this time with a chorus courtesy of Miss Kittin, is a deep house anthem with an irresistible bassline. Elsewhere there are further classic house ventures with "Flying Over Time," "Latitude" and "Nightfall" that touch on the jazz and classical influences that Raymond has mentioned were particularly important to the album's mood.
Indeed, by the time you get to track nine, "The Phoney Lullaby," Oxia's new direction and musical sensibilities no longer seem surprising. Delving into a variety of styles, Oxia's Tides of Mind signals that—even after decades of work in electronic music—it's possible to reinvent yourself successfully.
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Tracklist: Oxia - Tides of Mind 01. Premiss
02. Rue Brusherie
03. Housewife feat. Miss Kittin
05. Traveling Fast feat. Mesparrow
07. Flying Over Time
09. The Phoney Lullaby feat. Scalde