[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
The wait has come to an end. Repeated delays could not derail the arrival of Oil 10’s new album , nor could they deny the fans from having their faith rewarded. This is a sweet payoff, everyone, very sweet. ‘Modularium’ is so pitch-perfect, so sugary at points that I have to set it down because I cannot handle the rush. Similar to the records he has done before in name only, this 2014 edition of Rossire’s baby is an epic sweep of ridiculously detailed electronics. I hear a couple references to Jarre but I suspect these are done more in homage than imitation, regardless of what the intent was in using them they only increase the depth of emotion on display.
‘Modularium’ switches between driving synthetic anthems and gorgeously drifting fragments of melody; suspend your disbelief oh you doubters and dive right in. When I listen to Oil 10, everything else around me just fades out and the rich, decadent arrangements overpower my senses completely. I suspect they will for you as well, but I know the ones who are really going to lose their minds are those who have followed Gilles relentlessly over the years. There aren’t many of us, this project is known primarily for the collaborations it undertakes and the compilation appearances it has made. I urge those of you who are skeptical to lower those brows and acquire this collection at any and all costs. Should you know anyone who’s into what this guy puts out, the reason for that will become evident in a matter of moments.
Yes, some of what Oil 10 do could be considered over the top. There’s no skimping on sounds within the technicolor fantasy of his work, but this isn’t mindless, plodding bombast. His compositions are fantastical excursions of light, longing and lust. Not once does he let there be any dead air in his tracks, every available iota of space has something going on; ‘Modularium’ will take you places, this music is a trip. One for the mind, ears and heart. Pay your fare and climb aboard this vessel, become one with the cosmos and all that lies within and without it. The song craft being wielded is indeed a mighty instrument of imaginative conjuring, no gesture is without meaning and no song without a soul.
These pieces are alive, they dance and sing among the stars and I’m stunned at just how effective they are at what they do. Even the ones with lower tempo make you move; the future gets let out for the duration of this release and what it shows off is a dazzling array of shimmering, sparkling artistic design. Oil 10 have become even more ornate, more majestic and somehow more focused on song structure than ever before. The journey getting to this breathtaking view has been a long one, once you finish playing this go back and listen to his earlier records. You may not even recognize him at first.
His style is unmistakeable and his method thorough. So few examples of pure beauty exist in this world, Oil 10 have given us yet another. Respect.