Review: Son of Ohm - 'Zeitgeist' (released June 15, 2019)
Son of Ohm is one of the projects from Dutch multi-instrumentalist Leonardo (another being Astral Son, whose album Wonderful Beyond was number one on last year’s Psychedelic Waves’ Top 30). Son of Ohm is primarily an electronic music project, exploring similar realms to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, but also drawing on numerous other influences. Zeitgeist is the second of three releases from Son of Ohm so far this year and takes a somewhat different approach to the other albums. Here Son lets the guitar leap into the forefront, taking the music in a much more psychedelic direction but without sacrificing the aesthetics of the core Son of Ohm sound. He builds slow, powerful, pulsing sequences using the guitar with delay and looping, warping the fabric of reality as science and magic become one. There are three epic tracks that range in length from 13 to nearly 25-minutes.
The shortest, Telefunken, Baby! opens the album with bubbling electronics and a hypnotic guitar riff with a loping bassline. As subtle melodies weave their way through nearly invisible washes of sound, it takes on a distant wandering kind of vibe, till it penetrates your pineal gland, awakening you to a new understanding, even as you find yourself in a dark, Munich nightclub in 1975. On the second track, Endlos, a dizzying array of different colours, textures and melodies are woven in and around each other, whirling and twirling into a fine thread of rainbow light, held taught in the vast darkness of the breathless void. Not just breathtaking though, but senses taking. It’s like a thief of the senses that dances and taunts and slowly seduces you into the very fibres of your soul where shimmering, golden light swims through heavenly, woolen strands of galactic yarn. This is when you start to wonder how it can get any better. It does though, with the final 25-minute epic Third Rock. Cinematic, orchestral music warps, shifting slowly into a fragile electric piano melody, every note dripping with acidic delight as it winds its way through a hallucinatory and disorienting aural forest of the mind. It’s not disturbing though. It’s pleasant, dream-like in nature. Languidly, it changes, alters into a chugging rock n' roll rhythm, decidedly trippy in nature. And like the transformation the music has just undergone, the listener transforms with it, finally gliding through strange sunlight that illuminates an alien world…called Earth. And then the album ends, leaving you in a state of warm, slightly disoriented bliss, but definitely ready for another listen!
Zeitgeist will surely appeal to fans of music like Manuel Göttsching’s Inventions for Electric Guitar and A. R. & Machines’ Echo. The one thing you need to remember when listening to it is, just sit back and let it blow your mind. Because it certainly will!
For more info, and to stream or purchase Zeitgeist, visit: https://sonofohm.bandcamp.com/album/zeitgeist