[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
If you listen to something long enough, you’ll become so familiar with it that it will get inside your head and refuse to leave. “Guidance From The Master” has now done this to me, ‘Maggotbraindeath’ in particular. The layered effects inundate with a vengeance, one song segues into another with a seamless grace. I can still hear Sly’s heavily distorted words from ‘Gilt Copse’ with their flanged, down tuned vehemence many hours later. If this is confusing to you, consider this but a glimpse into the debut of Osmiroid’s label: Stars, Dots and the “New” Junk. A perplexing title perhaps, then again this is an artist who has built up his work in such a way that depending on how you approach it, your own interpretations will vary wildly.
There are cleverly nuanced clues inserted into what he’s doing here, for example, the difference between a copse and corpse may be just one letter, but Osmiroid are determined to investigate what the space that letter contains is composed of. Be it the menacing hostility of part two of the title track or the marauding disturbance which is the visual accompaniment to the first. This release isn’t going to present any answers as to why it is the way it is. For example, the short film for that initial part seems to play around with the concept of identity. We’re shown landscape footage inter cut by a woman’s face then we get dehumanized shots of urban buildings which jump back and forth between pictures of people who have had their eyes covered by a censor’s black bar.
What does all of this mean? Has architecture become the new aesthetic benchmark for human expression or have we become merely an accent to those creations we work and live in. These are some ponderous thoughts to have, they may not have been intended but there is simply no way to not draw conclusions from what Osmiroid have done here. His compositions work on so many levels, it is absolutely fascinating to observe them weaving into one another. The medium of drones and ambient acoustical textures become a litmus test of our own perspectives on the reality we create, or are they simply meant to keep us on edge so we don’t become complacent in our ways…
Of all the many musicians I keep track of, he’s one of the more resourceful ones. His creations have a handmade, spontaneous quality to them that could come only from someone who is a master of improvisation. There is an insidiously addicting nature to what he’s doing, one which I’d like to think will lead others to point their browsers in his direction. Speaking of directions, the infinite possibilities of what is and isn’t spread out like, well, stars in his work. While most artists in this style get repetitive to the point of nausea, this shadowy maestro plays around with bandwidth in a most splendid manner, never allowing the details to get lost in the mix; and obviously, “Guidance From The Master” is a mix alright. One of unknown properties which we simply must partake of without doubt. You can bet Charles Carson would.