Oxóssi is a name that caught my attention right away. I know it from the great Brazilian caldron of religions, where different African traditions met with Portuguese Christian fervour. Brazil today, is possibly one of the most racially and religiously diverse countries on Earth, second only to India. However, I never expected to come across an African-Brazilian deity making music so I had to check it out. Turns out the producer going by Oxóssi represents this Brazilian willingness to mix everything human very well, with a record released on Banana Stand Sound (their first release too) and his second one now on Crucial.
Sleeper is well known to long time fans of the darker end dubs put out by Chestplate, as well as his hard-hitting techno crossovers, which sound as ominous as the deepest, darkest minimal dubstep. When someone hailing from a distinct breeding ground of hard and heavy music, with such a breadth of influences, selects an artist who could not be more different from his own sound to deliver the fifth release on Crucial, you know you can expect some interesting music.
And Oxóssi delivers. “Solace” EP is innovative, deeply emotional and mixes diverse influences from a rich musical background to come up with beautiful tracks while compromising none of the low end weight we all crave. The title track “Solace”, with Rider Shafique, is a truly powerful piece combining lyrical and musical poetry seamlessly. “Reflections”, by far my favourite track, has a distinct atmosphere about it. At the risk of being too subjective here, it is almost reminiscent of things to come. “Tempest” is quite appropriately named: it builds up swirling, moving around and blending melody and rhythm, feeling cheery and sunny, only to come down like a storm, dark and determined.
“Solace” is a release born classic. It will surely feature in many different sessions, great for both the lazy afternoons with close friends at home and the demanding and intense sound system nights. Heavy yet delicate, challenging and rewarding to blend. If this is a hallmark of things to come, Oxóssi will surely leave a lasting mark.