Artists: Various
Album: Oxycanta III

Released: 30 September 2013
Label: Ultimae

Oxycanta III
Finding sonic power in simple forms and especially the negative spaces surrounding them Oxycanta III (76'02") expresses a heroic optimism. Curator Mahiane (Sandrine Gryson of Ultimae Records) has included twelve uncommon electronic works within this anthology and succeeds at creating something greater than the sum of its parts - a much needed outlook in our current age of irony and complacency. While the contributors (such as AES Dana, Circular, Miktek and Scann-Tec) are each well-known individually for their intelligent, atmospheric, synthetic realizations, together among the Oxycanta III collection their pieces build a bigger meaning - one that shows relationships as well as the differences between contemporaries. The resulting listening experience is dynamic. Moving from a mounting montage of sound and eerily floating tone clusters to imaginative harmonic arrangements and beat machine energy Oxycanta III conjures up a unique mood unattainable to each of its constituents on their own. In places it flirts with the abstract as fascinating modulations and manipulated samples form searching meditations. Further along the tracks rise and fall along an intelligent compositional arc, often tripping seamlessly into that of their connected companions. With a full synthesizer warmth, undulating bass rhythms and pulsing grooves Oxycanta III pushes through the fog but is able to retain its stillness - when the music motors up, we feel its light as well as its heat. This music has been made for the listener to participate in, not just dance to. Figuring out what it is all about requires a certain amount of introspection. We hear this music, but it all seems so quiet, private and pure. Although there are many music compilations in the world, Mahiane brings to the Oxycanta series a sensitivity and committed attitude that is all her own, and produces a quiet triumph. This compiler and her musicians do not inhabit a purer plane than the rest of us, but do like to play at the border between sharp everyday reality and gauzy nightscape dreams.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   28 November 2013

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