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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

OKSANA LINDE: Aquatic and other worlds (1983-1989) (2022)

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

I found more charms than annoyances in this first ode offered by Oksana Linde

1 Intromersión 3:31

2 Viaje hacia la luz 5:07

3 Playa Caribe 6:04

4 Bajo la lluvia 2:14

5 Estudio para una sinfonía folclórica ucraniana 3:02

6 Mariposas Acuáticas 1:44

7 Psicocatálisis 2:57

8 Descubrimiento 3:01

9 Orinoco 3:41

10 Nenufar 2:28

11 Recordando a Kitaro 2:24

12 Ensueño 3:41

(LP/DDL 39:59) (V.F.)

(Analogue Vintage Synth Music)

The timing is perfect! There is an unparalleled craze for the nobility of electronic music (EM) composed and played on analog modular synths at the same time as the emergence of the Latin School, this new EM movement coming from Latin America which finds its place on the Cyclical Dreams label. It's thus the perfect time to talk about Oksana Linde. This musician and painter from Venezuela is the equivalent of Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel for North Americans. It was in the early 80's, when she was in her early 30's that Ms. Linde became interested in music. She bought her first Polymoog synthesizer and started experimenting and composing short tracks that she recorded on a TEAC reel-to-reel. It was the emerging time of EM in Venezuela with artists such as Ángel Rada, Miguel Noya, Musikautomatika, Vinicio Adames, Oscar Caraballo, Aitor Goyarrola and Jacky Schreiber. A woman in a male-dominated environment that manages to make her own place by weaving a pleasant touch of romance through her compositions that are haloed by that abstract and experimental envelope of analogue EM, 10 years after Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Jean-Michel Jarre and alike have created a new form of advanced EM. She has composed and archived since 1983 an impressive collection of tracks that have remained unreleased. No professional recording, neither on cassette, vinyl nor CD. Nada! Nothing! AQUATIC AND OTHER WORLDS is a first recording for this synthesist. Offered on vinyl in a limited edition of 300 copies, this first album of the Venezuelan artist is also available on the Bandcamp site of Buh Records since the end of March 2022. Two other volumes are expected this summer. I found her style quite melodic in a rather rudimentary sound envelope where our ears are fighting a real battle to a sound that has done its time. But anyway, between Isao Tomita and Synergy, Oksana Linde lays down her weapons of seduction.

It is with shadows of gurgling synthesized sounds that Intromersión begins AQUATIC AND OTHER WORLDS. What jumps out at you is the antiquated nature of the sound. There is no editing or mixing here. Everything is natural and it sounds very vintage for an EM composed around 1983 and that sounds like 1973. Synthesized dialogues emerge from this mass of sound waves of which momentums structure these rhythmless impulses that give life to this new, for the time, art form for the ears. Viaje hacia la luz proposes a cinematographic vision that would fit very well in a vampire movie. The synth layers accumulate into a mass of black clouds floating low with a discrete harmonic score that sounds like an ode to blood on a church organ. The movement is intense with a pervasive tone where one can easily imagine the artist recording his music on his multi-track recorder. Playa Caribe is the first track that hooks our senses with its joyful texture and as light as some of Isao Tomita's movements in Snowflakes Are Dancing, but livelier. Keyboard riffs structure a bouncy rhythm in hazy ambient synth waves. There is a nice melody line in this track, as well as a tropical dance tune. Mariposas Acuáticas is clearly in this style with a vision that is very close to these Claude Debussy nursery rhymes that are performed by the Japanese synthesist. Bajo la lluvia is a good melody played on a synthesizer with a harpsichord tone where prisms of a bluish color sparkle. Nenufar is another good melodious vision with its loops that open in a choreography of human petals. Estudio para una sinfonía folclórica ucraniana is more complex, more experimental with brassy loops that make their scrambled forms sing in tones that are close to the first attempts to dominate a Moog. Tracks like Psicocatálisis, Descubrimiento and Orinoco are undoubtedly inspired by Larry Fast's early musical sketches (Synergy). These are excellent tracks! Recordando a Kitaro is not in rest with a very beautiful melody which could surf on New Age with good arrangements. Ditto for the very beautiful Ensueño that could even bring some tears out of sensitive souls.

The beauty of this album is also its weakness! Unless you like those old-fashioned sounds that take us back to the analog era of the 70's when EM was more of an abstract art form than a melodic vehicle, AQUATIC AND OTHER WORLDS will find a way to seduce. This is not an album to tame the art, but rather to understand it and follow its evolution in a corner of the planet that has been lighting up our ears since the first album to come out from Cyclical Dreams. That being said, I found more charms than annoyances in this first ode offered by Oksana Linde on Buh Records. I hope to hear her more contemporary compositions one day.

Sylvain Lupari (March 31st, 2022) ***½**

Available at Buh Records Bandcamp

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