Published Feb 12, 2019In the last six years, Xosar has built a formidable portfolio as a producer, releasing records for labels like Rush Hour, L.I.E.S and Black Opal, and collaborating with Danny Wolfers (aka Legowelt) under the Xamiga moniker. Throughout most of her discography, she brings forth a style of deep house music that is deceptively conventional; as her tracks unfold, they tend to become both eerie and quirkier, making for infectious dance tunes.
The Possessor Possesses Nothing, XOSAR's fifth album, sees the Berlin-based artist step out of the realm of house (and dance) music, and offer an overwhelming, wall-of-noise concoction of dark ambient, industrial techno and noise, not unlike her first album. It is right at home on Bedouin Records.
The seven-minute ambient opener, "Transmogrification," sets the tone in a strong way. Its intense, deformed, and sometimes pulsating atmospherics wash over the sombre piano line and far-off vocals. Equally impressive is the humorously titled "Pikachu Police State," which plunges the listener into an assault of heavy kick drums and percussive fills of white noise, with a backdrop of haunting and twisted synthesizers.
However, the rest of album ranges from okay to frustrating. There are interesting elements at play here, like the reverberated, Elizabeth Fraser-like, sampled vocals that adorn certain tracks, and the intense, dark ambient elements that are at the heart of the music here, but there is little to find beyond that. "Heavens Gate" doesn't have enough ideas to justify its nine-minute duration. And tracks like "Fantasmagoria" and "Vibration Acceleration" become more sluggish the longer they go.
Overall, the problems are both the samey sound palette used throughout, and the fact that too much focus seems to have been put on the sound design itself, rather than on trying to create enjoyable compositions. Her wall-of-noise approach undoes any potential sense of gripping tension that "dark" music of this sort tends to have. Outside of a couple of tracks, and despite the strong elements, nothing ever truly sticks. The positive, initial impact quickly dissipates. At a 52-minute duration, the album can make for a long listen. (Bedouin Records)