The Oscillation do have oscillating synths embedded in their sound, but for the most part they mine a more space-rocky seam. Their fourth album, Monographic, follows on from successful remixes for Fat White Family and Simian Mobile Disco. Released as a CD and in 2 vinyl editions: the regular black wax is pressed to 600 copies, the white just 400. On Hands In The Dark.

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Monographic by The Oscillation
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8/10 Robin 08 March 2016

The Oscillation, a psych rock band whose name is essentially a tautology (they may as well be called Demian Castellanos and The Psych Rock Band), are now four albums deep into their trench-surveying career; it's been a while, but like most bands of their ilk, they're in it for the long haul. Oscillations newbies can pick up a few tricks for free through this review: the band use gas-guzzling synths and a champagne-bottle spray of fuzz, making for rhythmic psych rock that sounds all kinds of squelchy. Most importantly, though, Castellanos' band have that thing the Itchy & Scratchy show always needed: attitude. At the fore, he smirks and snarls his vocals, letting the band churn their instruments through a tunnel as he knowingly predicts what's coming out the other end.

Have I mixed enough metaphors yet? There are also moments of ambient-leaning bliss, as is custom for a drone and raga enthusiast such as Castellanos -- it's easy to see how his recent solo works have influenced a track such as  "Let It Be The End", whose dreamy guitar abstractions swirl intimately around a programmed beat, like Deerhunter with a time for chimes. It eventually explodes onto a pretty climax, but it's proof of the band's patience, whether their music is structured like a space-rawk road trip or a shoegazing ballad.

For the well-trained Oscillation fan, this record has much of what you're looking for, toying with a clean psychedelic through-line and moments of burned-out noise (check the way the feedback-dissolving "Another Attack" is constantly on its way out). I'm amazed, as ever, that the Oscillations can structure their myriad interests, but 'Monographic' sees them sneak around the corners and then jump into the foreground. Pretty swell.


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