The Octagon Man: Ito Calculus

oct-ic.gif (9k) The Octagon Man: Ito Calculus
(DC Recordings - 1999)

We met J. Saul Kane last month in the movie-sample-laden beatfests of Depth Charge; now let's meet another of his musical alter-egos, The Octagon Man...

Though less sample happy (and often leaning more toward synthetic symphonics), the 13 tracks of Ito Calculus figure into some serious rhythmication, with a few instances of more-experimental/noisy goings on as well.

After a brief, noisy Intro (0:28) of scritchy radiowaves and blaring oscillations, the entertaining exploration of Sound of Gemini hesitantly builds, with layers of odd synthstring-and-organ musicality piled high with scruffy beats and quirky effects. Eccentrically arranged drumming backs the sweeping stringsounds of 10 ft Violins, which are devolved then allowed to return to their more natural form.

Peppy Mass lays down a danceable groove, then underscores it with a sonorous string section to interesting effect, then segues into Gass, an effervescently boiling/warbling stew of sonic electrons. Churning, burbling and peppered with funky e-ebeats, Ionn is a thrummingly buoyant ditty. Another faux classical interlude streams in on the beatless string strata of Ito's Melody; overcast and moody tones ebb-and-flow beautifully. The track becomes Cess as the e-drumsticks begin to fall on similarly droning electro-orchestrations, producing a very cool juxtaposition.

Those sounds melt into AIFF, where a thick swirl of fuzzily wavering frequencies receive bubbly computerized jungle rhythmics, fading right into the flat buzz of beat-free Codion, which is layered with hazily festooned guitar/feedback. The track breaks down into a squawking series of ear-bending screeches which swoosh right into the dreamily dissonant tones of Axiomatic which are (sporadically) pulverized by crunchy, mid-tempo electrobeats. Electronic hell breaks loose with the frizzy explosions of Eff Emm; tortured/torturing radiowaves writhe with frenzied audioconvulsions. Weird, wired sonic happenings open The Toy Boxx (6:51) from which a grungy rhythm springs, to be joined in play by spry beats and a plethora of effects

The Octagon Man isn't playing by the numbers when he does Ito Calculus; this equation of often-beat-driven, sometimes-experimental, usually-quite-enjoyable tracks adds up to an irreverent, widely-ranging mixed-bag of electronics, rhythms and fun. An appreciative 8.5.

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This review posted April 29, 2000

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