Newcastle, England based producer, Onixonst returns with a brand new studio album, which sees a departure from the sound that he has developed over his brief but exceptional career. The trademark warm and colorful synths are still present, but they’re mixed with elements of intricate percussion and bass-driven sounds that give the album a rougher edge than evidenced on previous records. “Analogue Dreams” is breath of fresh air for a producer that was beginning to sound all too familiar; the changes have made for an album that remains dark, tender and bittersweet, whilst pointing Onixonst in an unfamiliar and refreshing direction. Throughout these last two years, Onixonst has been slowly but surely establishing himself at the forefront of the contemporary underground electronic scene, with lush, sound design and structures that strike the balance of being creative and engaging.
“Analogue Dreams” represents an interesting new development for Onixonst. Each of the tracks contained within this album, delivers delicious bites of ear-candy. Shuffling breakbeats pit themselves against growling basslines, impossible sounding synths pile on layers of atmosphere, and delicate melodies dance between the percussion.
The earthy textures that come from mixing analogue (or at least analogue-esque) synths are intoxicating, perfectly splitting the difference between ambient electronic and contemplative post-techno, and the album contains plenty of this. Over the fifteen magnificent tracks that comprise the album, the stratospheric tones and dreamy nostalgia that Onixonst has conjured up on many an occasion are still present in regal fashion.
It’s an opulent, warm sound that gives off a comforting vibe. The relatively heavy, thudding percussion, the deep pools of bass and the raspy synth sounds that invade the gossamer aesthetic of this album, show up right from the start on “SDR Sennheiser HD598”, getting darker on “Neither Analog M2”, and even more experimental on “Black Synthium (Queen 71)”. It flows along on a dynamic rhythm, filling in the gaps with euphoric synth patterns that come in and out of focus every few bars.
“Phoenician Stars 1” hint’s at another stylistic shift, but Onixonst guides the album back into bug-eyed euphoria with a rolling lead and crystalline production on “Annie Analog”, before the washing, immersive sound “Soulmate B2 1892”.
The hi-hat patterns and kick-drum rhythm frame on the relentless “Chryseis 9” comes on strong, leading into the chemically-enhanced-like shimmers of “I 22 Wanderers Moon”. “ui1” is the mid-way point between trance and haze, prior to the borderline mania of “Moxogonal 77” and the percussive insistence of “coseg391 ~”.
Onixonst, is a producer who oozes a rare sense of total commitment; an artist who has found a way to open blissful aural floodgates and altruistically invite us in, right next to him. Which is a very good place to be for the visceral effects of tracks like “Rave Analog” and “Stoic Acid 0032ad”.
The atmospheric consistency of Onixonst music puts him in rarefied and somewhat enviable company. “Blue Synthium 2nd” and “luv, 32” are moving, expansive closers that embodies Onixonst mindful and – dare I say it – natural progression as a producer. On this album, his formerly distinct experiments morph into “Analogue Dreams”; the kind you never really want to wake up from.