Oto Hiax | Two
Editions Mego (LP/DL)
Mark Clifford and Scott Gordon are Oto Hiax, and this sophomore effort is no Jan Brady. In fact, Two is so steeped in seismic patterns and shifts you may consider a serious interruption in nature. They do so by pitching waves and other tactile electronics that begin to sound like an old pirate ship cast adrift on Dapple. Glimpses of foggy shores and rolling dank drones swell and teeter in an autonomous scape. It’s a physical record that you hear with your entire corporal being. Stunning deep chords bellow away like the heaviest breath of wind on Overcurve until the twitch on Scutter mellows to a velvety drone. Here added effects manage to keep it from sinking off into the deep end.
The forlorn stretch of Strain is not what it seems at first, churning into a warped melody that blends post-bluegrass with uncertain doom. After a short while it takes off and then meanders, but is never repetitive, not even for a millisecond. It simply stares into space, sounds for contemplation with a hint of East Asian themes. The steely wall of noise that greets you on Plates acts as a mind-palate cleanser, thickly resilient like the reverb of an ancient gong. The percussion continues to tickle your ears until the very end when the depths of intonation take hold.