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(65:06, ‘Monty Maggot’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Truth & Lies 7:05 2. These Are My Thoughts 9:21 3. Don't Want to Be Here 3:23 4. Night Twist 7:09 5. Night Twist Omega 6:50 6. Hen 3:03 7. Le Chapeau Rouge 4:18 8. You Don't Talk Like a Human 4:08 9. Snapshot 19:49 LINEUP: Lee Potts – instruments John Pierpoint – instruments Bridget Wishart – vocals; saxophone, EWI With: Sarah Panton – vocals
Prolusion. The UK-based outfit OMENOPUS came to be sometime around 2009, when long time ambient music creator Lee Potts got in touch with vocalist Bridget Wishart. At some point instrumentalist John Pierpoint got involved too, and from social interaction the acquaintance soon evolved into a musical collaboration. "Time Flies" is their debut album, and was released in 2010.
Analysis. There are some people around the world who share the common fate that most people's perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of are centered round one achievement, be it a one-off occasion or a longer involvement in a project. Comedian Rowan Atkinson will for most people always be Mr. Bean. Ian McKellan will always be Gandalf for millions and millions of people. And while her persona isn't by far as well known as these actors, Bridget Wishart shares their fate. Most of those familiar with her are so due to her tenure in Hawkwind 20 odd years ago. And those who expect this latest venture of hers to be in a similar vein will have their expectations met, at least to a certain extent. The grinding guitar foundations and energetic space-influenced display of Dave Brock and his band of cohorts aren't a defining part of the territory explored by Omenopus, however. While parts of closing epic Snapshot take on that style, it is in bits and pieces only, while the rest of this production mostly shies away from that approach altogether. The instrumentation isn't defined on the album credits of this disc, but I assume that Lee Potts is the main man for the synths and keyboards utilized. And their role is extensive, from the rhythms, which in most cases appear to be at least partially programmed, to the fluctuating textures that run like a red thread throughout the compositions. Often with a strong flavor of new age and relaxing music, but with liberal amounts of futuristic-sounding expressions and nuances added in. Along with energetic rhythms they combine into a nice contrast to the vocals of Wishart, who opts for a dream-laden, naive delivery on this occasion, softly singing, sometimes whispering, a warm and sensual contrast to the digital timbres of the instrumentation. Electronic sounds and noises, occasional saxophone and violin soloing and the odd guitar solo or riff insert flavors to the compositions with additional instrumental details, most often emphasizing a futuristic-like general theme. And while the closing epic Snapshot becomes too sprawling to my mind, consisting of a series of snapshots rather than the singular one implied by its title, the other excursions are by and large rather enjoyable. Hypnotic and intriguing affairs in general, with the dark, menacing industrial-tinged landscapes of You Don't Talk Like a Human coming across as the most inspired piece in my opinion. The menacing bass motif and haunting violin and saxophone insert fitting brilliantly into the threatening fluctuating synth backdrop and Wishart's softly-utilized vocal talents.
Conclusion. The UK-based outfit Omenopus has crafted themselves a fine debut effort with "Time Flies". Despite sporting a somewhat synthetic sound, the blend of ambient-inspired synths and keyboard textures with energetic rhythms, instrument inserts and sound additions and the soft, distant vocals of Bridget Wishart on top should interest most with a fascination for this type of music, as long as you aren't dependent on a driving, defined rock foundation that is.
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