Octex: Variations

Slovenian producer Jernej Marušic follows his 2002 Tehnika debut Idei Lahesna with Variations, a deep and dubby, Chain Reaction-meets-Merck styled release. True to his moniker's name (Organic Crackle and Tone EXperiments = Octex), the album's eleven tracks ooze a heavily textured, murky, and congealing character. Though Octex's Variations updates Vladislav Delay's Entain and Multila style with an oft-heavy hip-hop dimension, sometimes the material hews so closely to Delay's style it's indistinguishable from it; the lurching dub crawl in “Vertin” and “Rescatte,” for example, strongly evokes the Finnish composer's early style. Tracks like “Elocid Ub” and “Vrial” conjure a fresh dub and hip-hop fusion that impresses more for being less derivative. Often a darker ambiance reigns: in “Fristy,” nightmarish alarm calls resound woozily while head-nodding beats slither through sticky pools of vinyl crackle and grime, and clouds of spectral bursts and prickles unfurl against doom-laden synth motifs, scratching, and hip-hop beats in the disturbed “Elvolv.” “Linbahn Sserpres” closes the album memorably by integrating the disparate strands of Octex's music into a thirteen-minute, oleaginous epic.

July 2005