The year of 2012 has been a prolific one for Boston’s Alex Pollock, otherwise known as THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT. For following hot on the heels of the superb down-tempo psych masterpiece that was the much lauded ‘The Witch’s Whispering Tomes,’ comes the equally engrossing, but ever so different ‘Ghoul.’
There’s no point in saying otherwise, but ‘Ghoul,’ is definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, although I would caution a little patience as it will surely grow on those doubters. And there’s plenty time for it to do just that – the ‘one-sided’ album runs to one continuous track of thirty-nine and a half minutes!
Basically, this album would fall into the category of ‘experimental’ music, with the first half comprising of hazy, all-encompassing synth-based soundscapes that swirl languidly in the listener’s head. It may register if you listen actively and follow the images created in your psyche, but then it may just reach your subconscious as you go about some other work. It works both ways.
Essentially, the second part is more of the same, the slight difference being that in parts you can just about make out the sound of some quiet drums and additional effects before, with around twelve minutes remaining you pick up the occasional discordant piano chime and the increasing rush of crashing cymbals way in the background. It’s not a blatant change in mood, but you do sense an increased level of intensity – and indeed this intensity takes on a more threatening vibe as the piece moves into the final six and a half minutes, the volume increasing and the waves of cymbals becoming more pronounced over the background drone.
Now, I’m a self-confessed fan of THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT, so of course I’m a little biased – so I won’t promise you’ll like this. And I would state that even I would probably have to be ‘in the mood’ for listening to a piece like this rather than say some upbeat Ramones track.
But I’ve already listened a good few times ….. and I reckon here are going to be many people out there who will readily concur with my view that this is a mighty fine piece of work!
(‘Ghoul’ is available now on a ‘pay what you like’ basis from The Bandcamp page for THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT.)