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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JIM OTTAWAY: Timeless e-Motion (2017)

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

“Timeless e-Motion offers a great variety in styles that matches David Wright's visions and music”

1 Sequence of Life 4:03 2 Timeless e-Motion 8:06 3 Skies Rain Down 5:23 4 Reality's Edge 4:36 5 Blurred Vision 6:28 6 Game Over 4:23 7 Behind Closed Eyes 4:47 8 Desperate Measures 3:55 9 Towards the Unknown 4:07 10 Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained 11 Evolutionary Phase 5:32 12 Cosmic Shift 4:00 13 Timeless e-Motion (Radio Edit) 5:10

Jim Ottaway Music (CD/DDL 64:48) (V.F.) (E-Rock, England School & New Age)

Another new artist on the Blog, Jim Ottaway has a long track record. A renowned musician in Australia who has been touching all styles since he made First Light in 2004, Jim Ottaway has accumulated nominations for the Australia Music Awards with no less than 17 nominations since 2010. TIMELESS e-MOTION is already a 22nd album for the one who won the prize of the best ambient music in 2016 with the album Southern Cross. But this is not an ambient album, apart from a few titles, for the one whose influences vary between Tangerine Dream, it's heard on this album, and Code Indigo, it's also heard, while going through opposites as big as Vangelis and Radio Massacre International. Built on 13 tracks all very well composed, TIMELESS e-MOTION is offered in manufactured CD with a top-nickel production and in downloadable option. It's a big 65 minutes of music which is drinking at all the streams of EM.

A rise of cosmic effects awakens Sequence of Life. Between crispy tones and more usual ones, the sequences flutter in an undulating mass and the percussions stage a rhythm in opposition with a more rock approach. The ambiences are adorned of electronic chirpings and of clapping percussions effects that will be used extensively on this album. The harmonious approach is built on loops of harmonies with bipolar hues. The structure makes me think a lot of David Wright. The title-track shows that Jim Ottaway is very comfortable in a good Berlin School vibe, kind of Software, with undulating and hypnotic loops which are rolling in a minimalist vision. The structure is more in the cosmic genre with echo effects in these loops that end up weaving a fairly esoteric undulating rhythm where these clapping percussions get grafted. The synth throws semi-strident vocal fragments as well as these cosmic mists that fill a lunar decor loaded by multiple effects, both vocals and cosmic. I like Skies Rain Down! Its rhythm is unraveling with a sovereign slowness propelled by slamming percussions and whose resonances cling to a breakthrough of percussions that don't succeed to take off an exhilarating rhythmic pattern. The synth pads put down effects of fogs and voices while a guitar, and its morphic solos, adds a hopping rock zest inspired by Code Indigo. A little more muscular, with a throbbing and undulating pace rhythm and rattlings of percussions, Reality's Edge exploits the guitar a little bit more with good harmonic jets, which flirt in loops, and pieces of poignant solos on a rhythm dominated by the multiple slamming of percussions. The final will tackle you down! Blurred Vision offers a dynamic rhythm driven by two lines of sequences, including a more harmonic, and a line of bass pulsations. The synth throws effects that sing like reflections on the water, while the rhythm gains in force with the addition of percussion. Game Over brings us to a more Dance Music approach with good Berlin School elements. We are not far from the good music of Stefan Erbe!

Like several other titles on TIMELESS e-MOTION, it's with amazement that we follow the evolution of Behind Closed Eyes. Its introduction is agitated by a pond of sequences fluttering with vigor. A layer of voice covers this stationary excitement. A line of sequences throbs while staying in an immobile embryo before it takes off in a more exciting structure where is added an astonishing rhyme that flirts between Mike Oldfield, Enigma and Edgar Froese. We enter the New Age phase of this album with titles like Desperate Measures which proposes a structure evolving in the same vision but in a harmonious cocoon much more New Age. Some good New Age with a clear influence of Edgar Froese. Towards the Unknown is another good electronic rock adorned of floating cosmic effects, an Elven voice and an increasingly New Age envelope. A title with an aboriginal dance approach simply attractive in its more experimental envelope, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained offers a good down-tempo full of sequences and percussions in dance mode. The sequences are genius with their different colors, including a succulent organic and another with Didgeridoo tones, which structure a rhythmic broth from which evaporate beautiful things from a synth as creative as the sequencer. Harmonious synth lines, strobe effects, mists of cosmic fog and good synth effects in search of a harmony line. In short, the creative pool of Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained is of an incredible sound depth. Evolutionary Phase evolves towards a good electronic rock with a hue of organic dialogue in some sequences. Speaking of sequences, they are as seductive as they are very versatile. A bit like in some good Chris Franke's ideas. Cosmic Shift comes to the conclusion of this surprising, it's the case to say it, album of Jim Ottaway with a more floating, a more cosmic approach, whereas Timeless e-Motion (Radio Edit) ends the 65 minutes of this album with a version edited for radios of the title-track.

Although disconcerted by the New Age segment of TIMELESS e-MOTION, this first ID card from Jim Ottaway offers a good diversity that should seduce you without difficulty. You can find everything here. And everything is done with a professionalism that matches David Wright's albums. There is a little something indefinable that stems from the Australian musician's vision, making his music even more seductive. Is it the Down-Under effect? Possible! But no matter, we are dealing with a musician and a composer whose talent is heard throughout TIMELESS e-MOTION. Even in its more New Age segment.

Sylvain Lupari (September 9th, 2018) ***¾**

Available at Jim Ottaway's Bandcamp

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