Following a re calibration and consolidation with their recent electronics-inflected album, 2018’s U.E.F., The Oscillation are back with their sixth and most ambitious album to date, Wasted Space. Offered up as a meditation on the nature of existence in the face of what can be insurmountable odds it fins them painting from the darker shades of the pallet.
Discussing the album, main man Demian Castellanos muses; “The origins of Wasted Space go back to Monographic in 2016. That was a very bleak and heavy record and I really needed to move out of that mindset. Making U.E.F freed me up to write a coherent collection of narrative songs and compositions and Wasted Space is a partial continuation of the journey started with U.E.F, but one that re-incorporates more song-based ideas again.” It becomes apparent pretty quickly that the album sets its stall away from orthodox, with Castellanos summing it up nicely when he says; “There’s an irony at play here, it’s a twisted party song, albeit a party for one.” But what a party it is – and we all want to join.
We open with ‘Entity’, which wastes now time issuing forth infectious dancefloor grooves which blend with synthesised sounds to create a hearty wall of sound best enjoyed at loud volumes. It is followed by title track ‘Wasted Space’ which continues where U.E.F. left off, channelling hints of French electronic maestro Jean Michel Jarre, the motoric drumming of kraut rock legends Can, and finished off with a smattering of fuzzy vocals and a beast of a bass line. ‘Visions of Emptiness’ is the most experimental offering on the LP, with atonal electronic noise at the fore and menacing industrial sounds to the rear.
‘Drop’ offers a rhythmic call-and-response and eschews conventional methods of dance sensibility for more primal temptations, calling to the suitably attuned. “We’re reaching out on an innate level,” says Castellanos. “It’s a form of wordless communication that transcends the limitations of verbal language and thought processes.” ‘The Human Shell’ offers a moment of contemplation, with its dreamy sweeping countenance creating soundscapes to invoke individual memory. Castellanos tells us that “people will be able to relate to this song, there’s a lot of love and empathy in there and it reaches out to say that we’re not alone, that we don’t have to exist independently of each other.” With the current climate in the UK being what it is, that’s something we should all take note of. Concluding ‘Luminous Being’ is an epic instrumental that is not to be taken lightly and harps back once more to Jarre melodies and hedonistic tendencies. It’s a weighty collaboration of sound that requires a couple of listens to appreciate the finer nuances, but once you get them, you’ll be glad you took the time.
The Oscillation are no strangers to experimenting with their sound, but in Wasted Space they have delivered their opus and it is without a doubt their finest offering to date.