Ozmotic Elusive Balance

Ozmotic Elusive Balance
7
This third album from Ozmotic (their first for the impressive Touch label) should have worked better than it does. It's a high-concept effort built on a genuinely interesting idea. Execution is everything though, and regrettably the group's efforts to balance a variety of organic and electronic sounds prove just as difficult to pull off as the album's title suggests.
 
The idea was to dig into the complex relationship between humankind and nature. Ozmotic argue that the stability we take for granted in the world around u is, in fact, a tensely unsteady equilibrium.
 
Elusive Balance explores that theme with a collection of contrasting sounds. They present "a duality," with acoustic percussion and a soprano saxophone next to machines and electronics. The electronics are impressive; full of microtones and satisfying glitches, tracks like "Whisper" and "Insecting" are major successes.
 
But the addition of soprano saxophone on multiple tracks, and a choral recording on "Hum," feel forced. Yes, the contrasts are in keeping with Ozmotic's plan to present us a series of juxtapositions, but to the extent that the album is meant to deliver a sense of balance, it fails. The harmony we're promised simply isn't there. (Touch)