'Stanford Torus' is a new EP from Oracles, a band who let their influences of psych rock, shoegaze and hints of Afrobeat flow naturally into one another, while monitoring the whole thing with a healthy injection of motorik hypnosis. In six tracks, Oracles hope to pack their entire, maddeningly varied mission statement.
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- Stanford Torus EP by Oracles
7/10 Robin Staff review, 19 September 2014
Oracles make cosmic, spacey rock informed with electronic disciplines and as many keyboards as they can afford. The result isn't some wide-eyed and highly conceptual Flaming Lips bullshit, but something altogether softer, and paradoxically down to earth. If you could float through space on an armchair, you'd probably listen to 'Stanford Torus'. The way "Untitled" opens up is striking, managing to marry a bold, stargazing kind of krautrock with warm, enveloping textures that come in peace and float around in the headphones unobtrusively. It's a rare gift to be able to make music that sounds both as epic as the most widescreen rock and as calmed as Nick Drake -- and harder still to do it with swirling keyboards, thumping beats and vocals as alienated as the ones on "Everything In Its Right Place".
From there, the record uses its warm textures to make something more proggy, the previously slick bass used ferociously on the dynamic "Journey Back To Dawn", where the keys start interlocking the way they would on a 'Yes Album' cut. From there, the record feels more fully ornamented, "Gazing From Without" relying on a constant flurry of drums and drenched twinkling effects. 'Stanford Torus' projects itself cinematically and shoots for the skies, but not because it's destiny -- just for the love of doing it.
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