The Octopus Project: Hexadecagon

RIYL: Minimalism, The Orb, the soundtrack to Koyanisquatsi

The Octopus Project are an indie instrumental electronic group. So while they’ll probably never have a sound that one would describe as “pop,” their 2007 album Hello, Avalanche came pretty close. Tracks like “Ghost Moves” and “Truck” were just a vocal track away from a James Murphy tune, and the hauntingly beautiful “I Saw The Bright Shinies” proved that you don’t need a singer to make an excellent ballad as long as you have a Theremin.

But anyone who was hoping that the group might take the sound from Hello, Avalanche and advance it even further into the pop landscape is going to be shocked with the group’s latest effort, the highly experimental Hexadecagon. Taking a hard right away from the traditional songwriting structure from Hello, Avalance, Hexadecagon dumps all the hooks, jangle and upbeat beats from that album and replaces them with Philip Glass and Steve Reich-influenced minimalism. Repetition is the name of the game here, with tracks like the opener “Fuguefat” and the aptly named “Circling” focusing on a single motif and repeating it over and over again, slowly introducing new elements piece by piece. It’s not dance music, that’s for sure. But it still maintains one important element of Hello, Avalanche; it’s a great record that is a lot of fun. (Peek-a-Boo 2010)

The Octopus Project MySpace Page


The Octopus Project: Golden Beds EP

Patton Oswalt joked that Austin was one of those cities that lives in a magical bubble that protects its residents from the chaos and the muck that surrounds them (“You mean I can’t pay for a sandwich with a song?”), and this five-track EP by playful electronic enthusiasts Octopus Project, their first effort since 2007’s Hello, Avalanche, bears that out. Leadoff song “Wet Gold” rocks a Theremin and boy-girl vocals to a beat that Stereolab would have killed for, but the band launches a full-on guitar assault on follow-up track “Moon Boil.” They finish the EP with three instrumentals (!), ranging from trippy (“Rorol”) to pogo-tastic (the Death Cab-esque “Wood Trumpet”). It’s the work of a band with a love for all things pop but a healthy disregard for all things popular. Lord knows we could use a few more bands like that these days. Peek-a-Boo 2009

Octopus Project MySpace page