Oophoi : signals from the great beyond Maximize

Oophoi : signals from the great beyond

  • Release Year 2010
  • 4 Tracks, 59 Minutes
  • CDr in Two-Piece Jewelcase

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10,66 €

Re-mastered reissue of Oophoi's classic album on which Oophoi played synthesizer, gong, singing bowls, percussion, ( bass ) flute and electronics.


The work is comprised of four tracks. The first track, “Kolenhaar,” combines an array of subtle sounds and pitches, invading the senses insidiously but pleasantly with waves of effective sound. As with many ambient artists, the old boundaries between “dark” and “light” ambient are of no real use in evaluating this work. Oöphoi borrows from traditional western melodic structures, but does not hesitate to deviate into unique sounds and aural experiences. Oöphoi is in this respect an artist of sound rather than of “music,” and, in my thinking, more of an ambient artist than a songwriter. The thing that makes his work so enchanting is that he seems to marry sound and story. He does not have a literal plot to spring upon the reader—and the song titles are, if anything, misleading. Rather, each piece has a sense of introduced sound, with the intention of creating a gauzy, half-remembered sense of familiarity. The concept of ambient music as “dream-like” is frankly far too narrow and confining. Oöphoi does not speak to the listener's dreams, but instead engages the listener's active attention in a search for alternative lines of inquiry. But the inquiry leads to hidden pathways, and quiet, affirming alleyways.The second piece, “Lightwaves,” and the third piece “Geometry,” differ from the first piece in that they have an almost elegiac sense of ritual and ceremony. Sounds and instrumental “voices” appear in the work in vignette form, as well as in shimmering waves. Silence is used to emphasize that the listener is being shown the potential of music as a spiritual vehicle. But no mantras are shared, no divinities sermonized—we are left only with the sensation of sound, washing, defining, explaining, and yet remaining ineffable. I thought of funeral dirges, of eastern meditation bells, and of European urban-jazz landscapes, yet the work is not derivative of any of those things. Oöphoi's gift is evocation, a non-linear storytelling not bound by the “plot” of his song titles.The fourth piece, “Sculpting the Fields,” adopts a sonic device which gives me pause. Silence is an important component of many ambient works, and effective use of silence benefits the first three pieces of Signals from the Great Beyond. Yet, in “Sculpting the Fields,” a good bit of the piece of punctuated by extended silence and extended introduction and exit of barely heard sound. While I applaud the experimental reach of the work, the brass ring remains elusive. To my ears, “Sculpting the Fields” loses its way in its extended silence conceit. This is the only real flaw in the album from my point of view. ( The Ambient Review )