Oceanfire – “‘KHZ4 (glissorchestrations/sonics)” (2013, Digital Download)

Keith Hill is back with the third Oceanfire release, following A Set Of Songs Parts 1 & 2 and Exit / Rejuvenations. For KHZ4 (glissorchestrations/sonics), Keith explores different territory, creating what he describes as demos of glissando inspired pieces and some electronica with glissando, treated guitars. And sure enough, Keith serves up 10 tracks of gliss inspired space ambience and beat driven electronica utilizing, in addition to gliss guitar, acoustic guitars, midi-synth guitars, FX, synths, percussion, loops and samples.

Each of the 10 tracks is simply named Movement 1, Movement 2, and so on, with Movement 2 (khz4) and Movement 7 (khz7) having a little something extra in title. Keith could have easily created a set of deep space ambience focusing solely on the gliss, but there’s far more going on that that. We do get gliss driven space ambience. But there’s also deep space gliss guitar combined with pounding electronic beats making for a contrasting combination of meditative calm and a compulsion to dance. We’re also treated to gliss guitar plus ethnic percussion and robotic electro beats, as well as floating space electronic excursions that transition to pure gliss ambience. One of the highlights is Movement 4 (khz4), which features some of the most emotive guitar of the set, combined with interesting percussion patterns and sparse but effective synth effects.

My favorite tracks are Movements 6 – 9, on which New Jersey based musician Rob Pullan assists with electronics, FX, monologue samples, bass, and drum programming. Movement 6 combines the sound of a running stream with ethnic percussion, searing gliss and efx’d electric guitars, cavernous drones, rising and falling synth lines, and a stimulating parade of sounds. Movement 9 is similar but more restrained. Movement 7 (khz4) consists of voice samples from what might be old TV shows combined with dreamy droney gliss ambience and pounding rhythmic electro beats. And Movement 8 goes in a completely different direction with a good ‘ol bass and drums rock rhythm section, plus cool grooving ethnic percussion and acidic gliss guitar.

Oceanfire has been Keith’s license to experiment and explore and the results have been consistently intriguing. Note that all the Oceanfire albums are available for free streaming and download so check them out.

For more information visit the Oceanfire web site at: http://oceanfire.bandcamp.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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