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Taiwan group Cicada compose original pieces of modern classical music, very much aligned with the stately neo-romanticism of artists like Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm (as opposed to Helmut Lachenmann or the like). Ocean is a rich album full of gorgeous melodicism: the poetic nautical titles might give you a flavour. CD release on Flau.

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Ocean by Cicada 1 review. Add your own review. 7/10
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7/10 Staff review, 09 May 2016

Cicada are a five-piece classical outfit from Taiwan. Violin, cello, acoustic guitar, and piano combine across the 13 tracks on this album to produce a melodic, uplifting and heartwarming body of instrumental music. From the soaring ‘Flapping Wings’ (I’m amazed by the number of bird-related records that have flown my way lately -- see M. Ostermeier on Home Normal and others) through to the shimmering, sparkling ‘Light Shining Through The Sea’ by way of many, many oceanic references accompanied by swooping strings, the record is the sound of a watery, dreamy Frahm-world.

‘Ocean Foam’ brings acoustic guitar to the mix of plaintive strings and piano. ‘Over the Sea / Under the Water’ is majestic, stately and all those grandiose adjectives we often use to describe music of the modern neo-classical variety; which becomes more jaunty midway through, as if it knows it will be used to soundtrack the next big BBC/Discovery Channel water-based nature programme... Probably. Listening to tracks like ‘Close to Wetland’ I am picturing storks and geese at a watering hole.  It’s all a bit too ‘happy’ and single-toned for me, however -- which is why I’ve deducted a point. Oh, go and complain to Attenborough why don’t you?



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