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.