The Octopus Project and why you should pay more attention to your music.

I’ve always been one who sees the allure of vinyls, indulge yet I’ve also done my best to avoid getting swept up by them. I do this because I know that it is neither practical nor affordable to listen to everything on vinyl, no matter how much better it sounds. Yet in recent times, my standards have been slipping a little and I’ve been indulging myself. The most striking thing I’ve noticed is how different the listening process is. The fact that you have to physically turn the record over, just to get through an album, means it is generally more involving. You’re far more likely to pay attention to the music coming out of your turntable, than the queued up mp3s on your computer. The reason this was so striking was that it made me realise how little attention I pay to the music I listen to. I consider myself devoted to music because I listen to it all the time, but in actual fact, I’m hardly listening at all. It is merely sitting in the background, failing to register as I attend to whatever else I’m doing. And I wonder why it takes me so long to decide whether I like something or not. I need at least three of these half-hearted attempts before an image of the song begins to form in my brain. I know most people out there probably don’t offend as badly as I do, but every now and then, I recommend you try actually LISTENING to your music. You’ll find it to be much more enjoyable, even if you do lose all that time that could have been spent multitasking.

Now all this might seem irrelevant, but it partly thanks to The Octopus Project and their latest album, Hello, Avalanche that I came to this revolutionary conclusion. I was at my computer, doing the motions, listening to their album for probably the third time. However, after a 3am session of listening to the White Album and playing Uno the night before, I was getting rather tired. I decided to leave the album going as I gave my eyes a rest. It was here I discovered just how great it is. Being a (largely) instrumental band, it makes sense that The Octopus Project pay a fair amount of attention to detail. So as I lay there, concentrating on nothing but, I was able to experience this in all its glory. Each song is delicately crafted, gradually layering one riff on top of other until it builds into a spectacular climax, or else floats off in another direction. It really is quite a special album and this is coming from someone who usually shies away from instrumental music. There really isn’t any stand out tracks because each just carries on perfectly from the last. I must admit, I picked a nice album to lie back and relax to.

An Evening With Rthrtha – Then again, after listening to this song, you’ll probably wonder how I could ever call the album relaxing. But as you pay close attention, hearing the changes as they evolve, it does end up rather peaceful.

I Saw The Bright Shinies – This song impressed me so much, it made want to copy it. The patch they use does a brilliant job of replicating haunting vocals, especially how each notes peaks just after you’d expect it to.


jehan said...

I do often contemplate the problem of my ever growing vinyl collection. I just love the actual process of putting the records on the player, and bringing the needle across. I'd say its comparable with people who smoke, partly because they enjoy the whole process of buying the cigarettes, opening the packet, removing, lighting and then smoking them.

eyeris said...

I know exactly what you mean about not listening to your music.

last year I was in such a rush to HEAR EVERYTHING that I ended up actually LISTENING to just a few songs while everything else were consigned to mere background music.

Sad, actually, that the mp3 player has made music so much easier to listen to, but hardly anyone REALLY LISTENS to the music anymore...