Osmiroid – Mandrax Raga

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

A sad detail to mention before we get underway: these are the last studio recordings Osmiroid will ever make. Much like the release I discovered them with just a few years back, ‘Mandrax Raga’ is comprised of two lengthy slabs of pure electronic experimentalism. “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” in the span of seconds had me purchasing this beast without a second thought. It has that perfectly defined mixture of eclectic arranging crushed up against what may be a collage methodology but even after being on this ride for a while I’m loathe to assign any sort of process to these master manipulators of sound.

As if that weren’t enough, the second piece on here bears the charming title “A Vortex of Pulp” and believe me it’s name is no accident. I can hear synthesis being torn apart in this place as walls of white noise and feedback team up to annihilate the entire creative field upon which Osmiroid have been operating; in short, everything which has been done before by them, every hypothesis, every theoretical strand of composition has been taken to the extreme. It is as though the pillars which held up this rarefied atmosphere have been thrown down. ‘Mandrax Raga’ is their House of Usher, it is their Ozymandias and it is their Wasteland.

Whatever ground hadn’t been covered before has now not only been crushed underfoot it has been salted and then used to line the grave of this project. There may be a few amongst us who don’t think it is over but how much time have they spent listening to this release? You cannot come away from such a tempest and not feel as though something very special has come to an end; I get why they’re calling it a day, where else is there for them to go. How much more out there can this outfit get; when it comes right down to it they have mined the psycho-acoustical terrain dry, time to dynamite it.

Let it go.

That’s really what the objective of Osmiroid has been all along, to get us to let go. I’ve had moments where this has happened before and they remain the most exhilarating and terrifying moments of my life which I wouldn’t trade for anything. For an artist to have pulled this out of me again and again through their music has been remarkable, it may have been a trampled-on trifle but I didn’t know indignation had a range like this until you folks turned up. Much appreciated.

Osmiroid – Mandrax Raga
Bloxham Tapes, BT 09
MC/Digital 2018

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