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VA - Oxycanta : Winter Blooms


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Various Artists

Oxycanta : Winter Blooms

Ultimae Records





1 Hybrid Leisureland - Strawberry Planetarium (7:31)

2 Solar Fields - Combination (On/Off Edit) (4:41)

3 Amos - Fläktsystem (5:05)

4 A. Testa & M. Piazza - Little Science (5:56)

5 Malik Trey - Sleepy Shadows (6:47)

6 Aes Dana - Nexus (6:56)

7 Mahiane - Thyrse (Interlude) (0:51)

8 Sgnl_fltr - Waters (6:26)

9 Subgardens - Asleep Clockmaker (7:07)

10 Mahiane - Spathe (Interlude) (1:59)

11 bOb tracKer - Little Voices In Operating Room (6:24)

12 James Murray - Nautilus (7:37)


Here we have the second in the Oxycanta series, Winter Blooms. Released at the start of winter with cold beautiful sounds to match the season. Now the first Oxycanta was for me a masterpiece of subtle beats & natural sounds mixed with spacey atmospheres. One of my favourite compilations not only of this millennium but of all time. So the second installment had a lot to live up to, something I was sure it could never do but was hoping it would come very close. On here are some familiar names like Hybrid Leisureland, Solar Fields & Subgardens who I'm confident would deliver & some less familiar names to me like Amos, bOb TracKer & James Murray who I'm hoping have been well scouted by Mahaine.


1. Hybrid Leisureland - Strawberry Planetarium

The only music I have heard from Hidetoshi Koizumi has been on Oxycanta so he was 1 for 1 before this. The track title sums up his style I think. Sweet experimental ambient with floaty night time atmospheres that creep into the mind & paint pictures of what lies beyond nature. This track is very ambient with long drones painting the night sky & a faint distant beat moving very slowly across the hills. This opener sets a cold mood, bleak & sparse with just enough to keep it alive.


2. Solar Fields - Combination (On/Off Edit)

A quarter of the track that's on Solar Fields - Extended which is a bit lazy for a compilation 2 years later but it is of course a very nice track & it seems to be a portion of it that fits very well with this theme. Sounds of a storm without water, a soft thin melody & darkish sounds keep the cold atmosphere set out by Strawberry Planetarium. The soft percussion is really pleasant and just noticeable enough to breath life into the atmosphere of bleakness.


3. Amos - Fläktsystem

Alright, we are really underway now! This track is stunningly beautiful. The melody is one of melancholic ecstasy & the beat vibrates as it rolls through the track. If you are a fan of melancholic chill then you will more than like likely fall in love with this track. Makes me feel like I'm in the part of a movie where everything in my life has fallen apart & all I can do is wander slowly around the city & see all the people going about there business totally unaware of my inner pain. Beautiful stuff.


4. A. Testa & M. Piazza - Little Science

I had always assumed that Antonio Testa was a cheesy kiddie trance producer so I was surprised to see his name on this release. I never knew he was an ambient producer & this track has me curious about his other releases. The percussion has become a little more involved now but still very slow with a tribal feel to it. The melody is similarly slow and hangs in the air everytime it comes in like a lingering snowfall.


5. Malik Trey - Sleepy Shadows

This is the first track I know of by Malik Trey but he's definitely an artist I will try & check into in the future. This track is a really nice piece of atmospheric music. The softly sighed vocal, the dark cold drone & the long synths give this a very winterly feel & the short bursts of melody feel like starlight on the virgin snow. With the trippy beats & the soft bassline this feels like it could be up beat without ever getting out of the blocks. Cold & dark ambience with an edge of urgency to get across it. Not as out of place as I first thought.


6. Aes Dana - Nexus

Aes Dana & his ambient trance sound need no introduction but I did feel like this track was not in keeping with the rest of the compilation. It's a good track, don't get me wrong, with it's suspense building synth drones & the watery sounds at the start. The melody also is a nice glitchy one that seems to hum along like a ray of light through the darkness but the inclusion of the what I thought were very heavy beats seemed too strong for the compilation. But here's the weird part, after listening very carefully, the beats that seemed too heavy seem to have faded & although one of the strongest on the compilation are still very soft intricate beats and don't detract from the cold spacey atmosphere created. Like the previous track Sleepy Shadows this is not as out of place as I first thought.


7 Mahiane - Thyrse (Interlude)

The sound of water in the background, some footsteps through snow & a drone is basically it.


8. Sgnl_fltr - Waters

A wet sounding track with a 4-4 beat. While the beat is not quite in fitting with what I was expecting from Oxycanta, not as subtle and laid back as the rest of the music. The previous tracks have kind of lead up to this. The track by itself is pretty decent & I have planned to get his albums released on Databloem but the kick is just a little to heavy for this compilation in my opinion. I was wanting this to be a whole CD with the nice subtle beats, not so prominent like this. When in pure relaxed ambient mode even slightly heavy beats can spoil the mindset. Nice track but not for this CD.


9. Subgardens - Asleep Clockmaker

Well, I had some really high hopes for this track after the brilliance of listen to the flowers grow & Subgardens manages to keep their hundred percent record with this track. Weird slick beats & rushes in the background make room for a lovely cold melody that falls all around me. It feels like standing in the middle of my field with snow all over the ground and a gentle snowfall coming down. I like the beats that Subgardens keep coming out with. Something different from you usual beats. More glitchy with echo, reverb or something damn good done to them. Would love to hear more from these guys.


10. Mahaine - Spathe (Interlude)

Another interlude by Mahaine here, sparse again but much colder than before. This really puts me in mind of standing in a dead wood in the middle of winter. The strength of the 2 little interludes she's given us here has made me want a full, beatless ambient album from her.


11. bOb tracKer - Little Voices In The Operating Room

The trickling of a stream leads into a cold bassline. Very chilled out like the wind gently chilling my bones as I stand outside in the winter time. The beats softly kick in & the melody that is suddenly there is a nice sad little one that snakes it's way through the music like an eel in a pond. The little sharp sounds add a little light & warmth to an other wise cold dark yet strangely comforting track.


12. James Murray - Nautilus

A nice natural ambient track to finish with. The sounds of the waves lapping against a cold shore under a metallic melody give me the impression of a winters night sat on a rock beneath the cliffs, all wrapped up against the elements & listening to the sea call to me. When the sounds become grander halfway through I get the impression of a decision made & a move into the dark cold ocean. As I move further away from the shore the cold creeps higher & higher until it finally covers me completely & I sink down into oblivion. A very nice ending to a cold journey.



Well this was never going to be as good as the 1st installment but it is a very nice collection of tracks. Myself I would have saved the Aes Dana & Sgnl_fltr tracks for a slightly more up beat compilation like the Fahrenheit Project or Albedo 2 & gone with a couple more tracks with more subtle beats. That aside though it's a nice journey & while the first Oxycanta was a nice summery album somewhere between our natural planet & the outer regions of space, this is a colder winter journey between the dark forest & the ocean. It has found it into my CD player a lot, a true sign of a good comp & I think this will be played a lot this winter especially when I'm out in it. Very cool atmospheric stuff & worth the money just for the track Amos - Fläktsystem which is one of my favourite tracks of the year.

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  • 1 month later...

I can confidently recommend this CD as much as the first Oxycanta. In fact, it is perhaps better because it does not end with such a stupid track as the one from Omnimotion. I am also a fan of the Amos track, but the other stuff is also good.







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