Oora: Iterations – Album – 2021 – Random Collective Records
Genre: Electronica, Ambient-Dub, Slow-Techno, Minimal Organic TechHouse
On August 05, 2021, Oora’s new album “Iterations” will be released on the small but mighty label “Random Collective Records”. “Iterations” is the second album from Italian born and Brooklyn NY based electronic artist Oora (pronounced like Aura) aka Federico Chiesa.
While his first album “Memoria”, released on September 24, 2020, was a nostalgic journey back to the days of his childhood, “Iterations”, in contrast, is an escape from the forced Lockdown studio confinement, both physically and mentally.
The Video “Oora + J/Née // Live Improvised Performance for The Vigil”
It all started with Oora and me in May 2021, when my YouTube bot, trained by me, recommended me the video “Oora + J/Née // Live Improvised Performance for The Vigil”. I’ll present it to you here, because the music of Oora wins by the visual representation once again quite strongly.
I was so impressed by the performance that I watched the video 3 or 4 times in a row. Oora and J/Née recorded and staged this gig for Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA) Baltimore’s “The Vigil” event. As usual, they didn’t stick to a rigid production schedule and simply improvised on it. And the flow of this 22-minute performance is simply mesmerizing. Y/Née uses a critter and Guitar Eyesy as an overlay.
For this production Oora used an analog Vermona PERfourMER MKII monophonic synthesizer, a Roland Tr8, a digital Microcosm effects unit based on a granular delay from Hologram Electronics, a Death by Audio Rooms stereo reverberator, a Benidub digital echo effects generator, and finally an Eventide Space effects unit for digital room simulations. Oora controlled the whole thing with the Elektron Octatrack MKII eight-track performance sampler, the Faderfox PC12 MIDI controller and the freely configurable multi-effects unit Mod Devices MOD DUO X. As you can see, Oora’s electronic zoo is quite respectable.
Oora’s music reminds me of the sound of Tangerine Dream with the album “Ricochet” from 1975 or also of Klaus Schulze with the album “Timewind” from the same year. But Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze with their voluminous baroque electronics have fallen richly out of time over the decades.
The Album Iterations by Oora
The Oora sound shows one or the other parallel to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, but is cut out of a completely different wood. Oora’s music is immensely organically modern and meanders with its many multi-sound landscapes somewhere in the triangle between ambient dub, slow techno, and minimal organic tech house. When it became known that Oora has produced a new album, I contacted him and received all the information from Oora and the label “Random Collective Records” within a very short time so that I could present this review to you.
“Iterations” is electronica in the very best sense of the word. They are multidimensional sound landscapes that take place and permanently evolve in the very own Oora biotope – a world of its own so good that it should be protected as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Because Oora ” is researching” at the roots of electronic music and delivers an immensely important part to the further development of electronic music, just like my buddies at SINE MUSIC in the German Black Forest are doing. Important for the reason that this music is much more than the ephemeral, commercial deep house and dancefloor electronics or unambitious boring ambient sound.
Certainly there are also exceptional artists from the second row, such as the producer Inamar with her beautiful good-mood dancefloor hooks, Blooy with his lo-fi experiments or also Blocoroco with his twisted AfroHouse sound, who are always able to convince with new ideas and approaches. But Oora is so completely different.
Most of the tracks on “Iterations” are starting with an atmospheric pad, which is the basis for the further development of the tracks and for setting the right mood.
“Eterno,” the album’s opener, is a nearly 10-minute journey that sets the mood for the entire album. The main part was created from a piano sample and some Juno sounds. Oora loves movies and states that he thinks it’s highly exciting how film and music work together. “Sometimes I do approach a composition with the idea of creating a mood or a scene. The result is not really a track, but rather something like a stimulation of the listener’s acoustic neural pathways,” as he says.
Oora sporadically uses acoustic instruments and field recordings, sampling whatever ambient sounds he can find around his house. These samples provide the green, organic sound base where his stunning electronic soundscapes can be built upon.
For the track “Coda”, a pad was first created on the Novation Peak, which was then run through the Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water, the Hologram Microcosm and through Death by Audio Rooms. In addition, there were some sequences on different tracks that Oora recorded with the Portastudio. Last but not least, Oora played with the faders a bit to record the final sound. Also drums and a few other sounds were added. This may all sound rather technical, but in this way Federico has created his very own electronic music biosphere.
The Bottom Line
Literally, Iterations is an immensely fascinating electronic head cinema that takes the listener on a journey where he or she can leave behind all constraints, boundaries and limitations. With Iterations and the incredible good flow of the tracks Federico makes the listener’s head fit again and frees it from everyday limitations. Take Iterations and imagine hearing the sound live at the appropriate alternative festival here in Germany: The audience will definitely start grooving to Oora’s music at some point.
Iterations was available for me as a 24 bits / 48 kHz file and sounds fantastic over the entire frequency range.
|Format: 24 Bits / 48kHz||9,5|
Facts about Oora – Iterations
Label: Random Collective Records
Release Date: 05. August 2021
7 tracks – 47:19 min – stereo
Available via Bandcamp
Studio 1 (High End):
- 2 x System Audio SA Mantra 50 (front)
- 1x System Audio SA Mantra 10 AV (center)
- 2x System Audio SA Legend 5 (rear)
- 1 x System Audio Saxo 10 (subwoofer)
- 4 x Onkyo SKH-410 (B) (Dolby Atmos)
- Auralic Altair (audio streaming client with max. 32 bit / 384 kHz)
- NVIDIA Shield Pro with Plex, Kodi (max 192 kHz for Audio, Tidal (MQA Streaming Client)
- AppleTV 4K (Streaming Client) Dolby Atmos, HDR, Dolby Vision
- Amazon Cube 4K (Streaming Client) Dolby Atmos (restricted), HDR, Dolby Vision
- Panasonic DP-UB9004 (4K UHD Player) Dolby Atmos, HDR, Dolby Vision
- Oppo UDP-203 (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player) Dolby Atmos, HDR, Dolby Vision
- Yamaha CX-A5100 (Preamp) 4K, Dolby Atmos, Hi-res
- Yamaha MX-A5000 (Power Amp)
- Sony KD-55A1 (TV) 4K OLED, HDR, Dolby Vision
Studio 2 (Near Field): Studio 3 (Consumer):
Studio 2 (Near Field):
Studio 3 (Consumer):