OTHILIA: CONTINENTS
CD: Divine Comedy 043 [2006]
Ltd x 500


Horizons
Continent... du Rêve
Continent... des Lumières
Continent... de Sagesse
Continent... des Origines
Continent... de Découvertes
Continent... du Mystère
Nouveaux Horizons

"Continents" is the second full length release from Othila, the French duo of John Doe and Lionel C., an epic global journey scouring the oceans for the five continents and the mythic lands of Atlantis, with all land masses nestled in their own tracks bracketed by the horizon… a journey like the scarab, Khepri of Ancient Egypt, pushing the sun from horizon to horizon with the earth between.

Organically crafted, "Continents" is a cinematic ambience, with the dawn broken by the cry of a man’s ululation at one of the many littorals where the sky forms an aviary for the sea birds as strings swell and palpitate like incoming waves. The first of the ‘Continents’ descends into jungle, the dry rasp of wind instruments reveling before a sitar conducts ritual chants in a simmering firelight of man-made musical devices that layer hypnotically. Percussion clamours rhythms for earth and its creature and a saccadic sense of motion progresses the listener’s journey through the album, flashes and wedges of doleful piano, jazz waxing horns, naturally sampled sounds are constantly evolving. Angling Arabic dub is deployed from natural drums, explosions of noise, and sampled vocals, while the sampled burrs of tigers are deformed into crooked mock-tribal-industrial. The last of the ‘Continents’ rouses the myth of Atlantis, embalmed by the tides, drawing itself up from the deeps on shafts of strident percussion coloured in dusty reverb and vocal ululations. Finally ‘Nouveaux Horizons’ draws a veil of night and the promise of a new dawn, reiterating the tidal pull of the oceans between. The terrene feel of this album does not drag it into world music or ‘meditative’ nonsense as there is always a turbulence creasing the folds, a slight frantic quality of the balance between man and nature, both inseparable and primal at core.

This album is released in a tri-fold digi-file gatefold, with the CD slipping into the lush three panel full-colour landscape of stone and oceans, overlaid with the response of an Amerindian chief to the United States to sell his land. It serves as a perfect literary counterpoint to the music on "Continents", ethnic and animist.


NYR

[Divine Comedy]

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