Octave One: Never On Sunday (430 West, 2023)

May 2, 2023 at 11:58 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Octave One: Never On Sunday

Octave One are always a must-see live act whenever they take the stage at Movement, and they’ve continued putting out an exceptional amount of music on their 430 West label (and others like UR and Tresor) since 1990. Previewed by a 12″ last year, their newest album is named after their longstanding Never On Sunday alias. Not quite a typical Detroit techno record, it’s somewhere in between a futuristic pop album, an industrial soundscape, and an international club showcase. “Enterstella” is a detached sci-fi intro, and then “Contemplate” and “Price We Pay” (both with vocalist Karina Mia) apply complex sonics to electropop songs. “Soon After” is sort of like dark gothic cathedral electro, and “A Moment of Truth” could easily be a Depeche Mode instrumental (but not anything like “The Policy of Truth”). “Metal Forest” evokes a magical environment, and “Mona” is a more beat-driven downtempo extension of the same vibe. The second half of the album is all instrumentals, edits, and remixes of tracks from the first half, and they’re often way more club-friendly (“Tiers” is really the only straightforward dance track at the beginning). Orbital’s “Price We Pay” is swell but Giorgia Angiuli arguably does more with the song, stretches it out and takes it in a headier direction. Skream turns “The Bearer” into a tunneling pounder, while P41 and Octave One themselves leave much of the suspense in.


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