[Reviewed by stark]
Parallel life. Such as the one carried out by us, different in detail, almost imperceptibly, but still crucial and determining both us as a separate being, as well as the universe around us. The lives of eons flow on the ocean of time and space side by side with ours. This French one-man project called Ocoeur sounds on “A Parallel Life” like something we’ve listened to somewhere before, while not resorting to simple tricks that would have to pull the wool over some image and convince the listener that it’s quite different. But at the same time it occasionally disturbs the audio stream. Breaking the composition in a not necessarily obvious way, so that the music can sound both familiar and strange.
Ocoeur is the project of Franck Zaragoza and “A Parallel Life” is his third album, the second published by n5md. From the first seconds “Universe” enchants the listener and ignites the imagination, not allowing for the ignoring of the music ‘s presence in one’s individual sound space. We begin a journey into the unknown marked by IDM mixed with ambient, but also lined with a solid dose of glitch. Something like a spaceship expedition: the beautiful, infinite space covered with stars space outside and disturbing shocks inside, caused for example by a meteor shower. Sailing with “A Parallel Life” for the first time, you have no idea where it will lead you. Just juxtapose “L’Horloge” and “First Highway”, the second and the third track. The first of these compositions endears with wistful ambient landscapes, while “First Highway” – referring to the title – with restless and dynamic electronic forms making the blood run faster in your veins. Both however are driven by intricately constructed rhythmic structures. And to make it more fun, the next composition entitled “Kofski” is an amalgam of synthetic, quite harsh sounds, with something that resembles strings – I can’t say whether of a natural or artificial provenance. Just as IDM musicians don’t particularly like to differentiate their numbers within the space of one album, here each composition has its own character and something that distinguishes it from the others.
Actually, I don’t see any serious flaws here. Perhaps I’d add a bit of bass to some parts, so that the whole thing would take a dimension that was a bit more succulent, but this is not a case for much nagging. Favorite fragments? “North” with its subtly textured background and a few strongly emotional spurts over the nearly eight-minute track. And “Beyond the Infinite” – it couldn’t have been otherwise, since one of its leading elements is the sound of seawaves: a sound I could die listening to. “A Parallel Life” works very well in general, suggestive images develop inside the mind, colorful, but not kitschy. Melancholic, but not cheesy. Breathing with space, and aiding in an introspective escapade beyond the edge of the world.