25 December 2020 (released)
05 February 2021
The symphony playing out in the cosmos has been going for billions of years and it can all be boiled down to a process of accretion and erosion, gradual collection and sudden expulsion. Sediment that composes the stuff of our lives. Coniology studies the dust that pervades the atmosphere and that science could be extrapolated out into space as well. These tiny building blocks travel serendipitously through the world before settling and becoming mountains and beaches, concrete and soil.
This theme is the inspiration for 'The Coniologist', the lead track on Canadian ambient electronic duo Oneo Fakind's latest record The Start of Something. The mood set by this cosmic contemplation continues on the rest of the record maintaining a certain lightness throughout. This buoyancy shows itself through the album with the producers choosing airy synths and chiming bells to define the character of their pulsing instrumental electronica. The album is a sit down, turn on, blast off kind of record where the group takes you on a trip through the universe through the eyes of a speck of dust. At times speeding with the bluster of an errant wind, other times loftily suspended in an updraft. Voices speaking drift briefly in and out as you fly by. The inexorable pace of the world below stays ever-present with the percolating tribal rhythms of a modern 21st-century metropolitan world.
The aforementioned opener drifts from garbled radio to shimmering synth arpeggiators. A spirited conga erupts as bells both digital and analog intertwine. Sinking electronic tom hits hoot like tripped-out owls in the night. The song brings to mind a somewhat more amped up Bonobo. 'You're Not Choking, John, The World is Just This Vast' fully delves into the cosmic ballet. Trumpeting synthetic brass alludes to the majestic fanfare. Wave after wave of iridescence washes over as the drums bubble and boil. The duo takes a page from the Cosmos series with its score of the celestial machinations that make the universe come alive.
'Moments That Don't Deserve It' recalls a child-like beauty. Like watching light dance through the prism of a dangling keychain in a car driving to a lake in the summer. The bouncing bell lines are similar to some of fellow Vancouver producer Longwalkshortdock's more ambient moments. Late album gem 'Decay of the False Vacuum' has the fantastic haunting backstreet, whispering to ghosts in the ether essence of Bowie's final act, Blackstar. Languishing piano, swirling fades like whips of memory coming back to play, and beautifully reedy synths that stagger woozily, playing the part of saxophones to tap into that wistful, life-coming-full-circle vibe. Best track on the album.
The Start of Something is an immersive experience. A doorway into another world, or rather, our world from another perspective. The sounds are new and exciting and bizarre but are always wrapped in a warm, shiny veneer. Oneo Fakind imagines the wild, wondering, entropic life of a speck of dust and take you along for the ride.