Stylish and bleeding with noir-electronica aesthetic, Omnipresent is a masterpiece of contemporary sonic fashion.
From the second it begins; the track is achingly demanding of your time. Sci-fi flitting pitches, Battles-esque pad tones and a pristine production value.
The minimal repeating bass line in the opening section of the piece brings forth thoughts of modern soul or R&B performance delivered with a classical sense of discipline within the mix. Mirrored perfectly in the percussive accompaniment, this oddly flowing-yet-rigid rhythmic technique gives the work a feeling of intense pace without sacrificing the articulation of its present moment.
‘…no matter what you think about the dirty truth…’ words spread across the mix with monotone delivery, cueing the instrumentation to alter its course. In some areas becoming sparser, in others developing into a glissando of tension and summary. Modulation increases and a deafening lack of pushing instrumentation creates a feeling of static weight in the track. Quickly joined by delayed and sporadic percussive strikes – a precursor to the left turn brought in by effected lead vocals.
‘…is it real…’ calls out in gritty harmony from the silence, reinforced by rolling snare and syncopated hits. The track lifts and pushes, absorbing every motif presented before while a droning distorted synth bass adds a devastating gravity to the swaying vocal melody.
Just as quickly as it entered, the mix is dropped and replaced by piano and acoustic guitar portrayal. Using such traditional acoustic instrumentation immediately drags the piece back towards a feeling of classic musicality. Its dystopian spoken word and Shepard tone bed tossed aside for a moment of harmonic duality. Leaning heavily on the qualities of each chord tone the two work together to pass through a range of progressing voices. Lacking any embellishment or decorative additions, this section pushes on with its weighty intentions, emphasised by the returning percussion.
A finale displaying the deterioration of meter and pitch sees us played out of the work as delicately as the track was introduced. Maintaining musicality and intrigue with passing reversed notes calling out of the distance, as if the work was leaving us behind. Satisfyingly ending with an audible trail of filtered delays, Omnipresent comes to a grand close.
Excellent from beginning to end, NAVASA brings us one of the best contemporary electronic tracks of the year. Never staying in place too long, Omnipresent is a short tour of compositional prowess.
NAVASA is an Electronica duo featuring Tammy Sue Everett and Gregory T. Biribauer. Tammy grew up in the heart of Pennsylvania, Greg is originally from Toronto, Canada. The duo met in Denver, CO, but are now based in the Delmarva Peninsula of the Eastern Shore. NAVASA’s influences range from Boards Of Canada & Stray Theories to Solar Fields & Massive Attack. “We try to make dreamy, spacey textures that can let a listener travel without moving.” says Everett. “This led us to the name NAVASA, fashioned after Navassa Island, located near Haiti in the Caribbean Sea,” explains Biribauer.
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