Boxcutter
Oneiric


4.5
superb

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
September 21st, 2008 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Irish dubstep/electronica musician Barry Lynn may not receive the critical and somewhat-commercial attention that his dubstep contemporaries Burial and Pressure may receive, but that doesn’t that Lynn’s albums are any less poignant and brilliant. Oneiric is Lynn’s debut as Boxcutter, and it manages to be that kind of debut that smashes all that you previously thought about a genre and puts a different perspective on what you loved before. Burial’s beautiful Untrue seems almost stale after a listen to this stunning melting pot of musical improvisation, jungle simplicity, and IDM-production. It’s that good.

From the ominous opening creaks that begin “Tauhid” to the low, swooping electronics of “Mossy”, Oneiric is anything but an easy listen. In fact, this genre-busting release is mostly very unsettling. Lynn relies on more vibrant basslines and violent drums more than ambience, giving Oneiric a very IDM-ish feel. “Grub” may be the most violent track of them all, featuring dozens of keyboards layered to create a truly breathtaking soundscape of screeching noise, heavy bass, and brief breaks of soothing effects, while loud drums underlay the smorgasbord of electronics. Midway through, the music eventually catches up with itself and reduces into an industrial-ish breakdown; just before Lynn picks himself back up again and fills the remaining three minutes with swishing keyboards and a beat that could have easily been stolen from a Boards of Canada experiment.

But if Oneiric was as violent and as intense as tracks such as “Grub” and “Brood”, with its stop-start jungle beats and screaming synths, then it may be too much to take. That’s why Lynn smartly balances the destruction with moments of calm, ambience, and even soul, believe it or not. “Bad You Do”, which is easily one of the highlights of the album, takes a pristine soul sample, places on top of a sluggish yet irresistibly shiny smogasboard of ambience, chimes, and alternating keyboards. The rhythm section is filled out with a drum and bass beat that Amon Tobin could have written, and an irresistible funky bass sound that seems like an actual human played it, and not robots. “Chlorophyll” is even more calming, with ear-popping bass that never really speeds up, scratchy synths that are again reminiscent of IDM tracks, and samples of crickets chriping. Nothing is more fucking calming than the sound of crickets chirping.

Oneiric’s main strength is its innovativeness. It’s easily the freshest album that I’ve put inside my computer for the past few months, and for good reason. It may be the best produced dubstep album released this decade that wasn’t by a guy that goes by the name Burial: every single break, beat, and crunchy keyboard riff is expertly analyzed and produced, and some of these songs are even danceable (such as the crunchy “Brood”) because of their pristine production. Hell, I could go on forever about how great this album is, from “Give Dub”, which mixes dub and soul so beautifully you almost want to cry; to “Sunshine V.I.P.”, where Lynn injects a little jazz and some truly remarkable and pretty random flute solos into the already combustible formula of the intense dub/jungle blend. But it’s better if you just go and pick up this beauty yourself.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
September 21st 2008


3742 Comments


Album's still so good.

gasmaskman
September 22nd 2008


1006 Comments


I needs to get this.

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2008


6099 Comments


aight

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 1st 2008


3776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the review btw, this is pretty awesome, reminds me of a sort of slightly less aggressive Vex'd.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 1st 2008


3776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Actually Josh, check this stuff out, it's friggin awesome, just came across it just now:

http://davwuh.wordpress.com/mp3/dystopia/

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 1st 2008


3742 Comments


that looks awesome dude, downloading now. glad you like this too.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bah

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

2muchket!
June 21st 2010


900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer glyphic but only by a little bit

liledman
April 5th 2011


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is great stuff

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should hear the samples for the new album

liledman
April 5th 2011


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i might just do that.

been rummaging through your lists, expect some random bumps on good albums in the near future dev.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have another one for you, though I get the feeling it could be rather divisive. My dig - review will be sometime tomorrow morning

liledman
April 5th 2011


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hmmm i think i have seen it written up somewhere. ill check it out in time for your review then.

Funeralopolis
March 28th 2012


11750 Comments


band is pretty good review is a big hyperbole

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should check out his side project The Host while you're at it

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2012


23964 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gonna bump this up to a 4.5

so so so good

Digging: Taylor Swift - 1989

Typhoner
September 25th 2012


891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really like this and in saying this, I'll also bump, because it should get bumped.

So what would be the next step, Glyphic?



Digging: ENA - Binaural

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 25th 2012


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, just go in order of release and watch the quality of his output slowly start to decline

Typhoner
September 25th 2012


891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok, will do that. Although I hope I won't see a decline.

On a side note: I already said this somewhere else, but I do try to follow up on your recs. I did find some really nice stuff that way. It's just because I saw you complaining somewhere (your Street Halo review?) that few actually appear to check your (dubstep) recs.

captaincrunch11
March 12th 2013


1237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been diggin the Hell outta this lately. Gave Dub is ridiculous.



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