Published Aug 09, 2017The balance between nature and machines is a common theme for artists and musicians to explore, as they seek harmonious existence between both sides. Photay's latest LP, Onism, tackles the frustration of being able to inhabit only one space at a time — our lack of experience with the world while trying to forge a connection with it — and blows it out of the water.
What Photay achieves on Onism is the contrast between full auditory saturation and expanding silence, brought to life by brilliant production. This is perfectly exemplified by the slow, quiet build of "The Everyday Push," innocuous chirps flitting into the reverberating smack of metal and the sound of steel drums as punches of brass pull ahead at the culmination of the track. The appearance of unexpected instrumentation so late in the song lends it a warmth and richness as it fizzles out the same way it came in. Compare that to the following track, "Storm," which suddenly projects a haunting, reflective vastness, a solemn breath of low mournful brass and the slow rise and fall of sighing synths. It's a phenomenal show of contrasts, connectivity, and our static existence. (Astro Nautico)