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Album review

Othon 

Pineal

added: 18 Jun 2014 // release date: 18 Jun 2014 // label:
reviewer: Alex Butler

Othon - Pineal - Printable version
Avant-pop songwriter, post-minimalist composer and awarded pianist, Othon, had no idea of the direction his music would take after participating in a series of mind-expanding Ayahuasca ceremonies in Brazil in 2012.

In the midst of the jungle and under the hypnotic singing of indigenous shamans, he was overflowed with sensory information that would set the grounds for his emotionally charged and provocative new album.

'Pineal' is, in some ways, a multidimensional music journey that brings together Othon's past and future, his edgy experimental songwriting, with his newly found love of awe-inspiring wilderness and ancient wisdom. As Pineal swings from cinematic pop and fierce shamanic techno to jungle evoking downtempo and violin driven electronica, Othon's self-defined PAN/muzik/ world that originated with his second album, /Impermanence/, reaches unexpected new heights.

The album's title points to the pineal gland, traditionally responsible for mystical awakenings and inner visions. Another highlight of the album's second part is 'Cobra Coral,' a traditional Umbanda song and a cult accompaniment to sacred ceremonies. Othon decided to turn this into a tribal dance track in which an Ivor Novello awarded Marc Almond leads, what Othon called, his own 'wild Ayahuasca choir,' a group of people who
are used to sing the song in the aforementioned rituals, many of whom traveled many air miles just to record.

'Pineal Kiss', a dense dramatic pop song that includes a classical choir, a prepared piano, a distorted trombone and a dozen of percussive instruments, is such an example. It features the futuristic electro-cabaret multi-octave vocalist Ernesto Tomasini whose voice also graces 'Dawn Yet to Come.' The latter blends melancholic techno with pre-classical counterpoint, topped by the ecstatic singing of a gospel choir. Tomasini's elusive and androgynous voice holds the song together. 'Your Quantum Future' presents one of Othon's favourite upcoming artists and SFE label mate 'Bird Radio' who guests in other tracks of the album too. 'Japan Suite,' an awe-inspiring, heartbreaking mini requiem about the Fukushima tragedy and the possible nuclear disaster that threats us all, closes the opening part of the album.

By merging the Western musical traditions with the indigenous way in his progressive new work, Othon is becoming a leading figure in an ever-increasing army of people who believe that ultimately both are needed if our art and spirituality are to evolve in a sufficient way.

www.othonmataragas.com
Twitter.com/OthonPanMuzik
SoundCloud.com/othon-panmuzik
Facebook.com/OthonPanMuzik

Marc Almond will be a special guest for Othon's 'Pineal' launch show at The Garage, Islington on 19th June amongst Martin Hall, Bird Radio and Ernesto Tomasini. You can buy tickets here: www.ticketweb.co.uk.


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