Image Certifies by Ora Iso
An obscure drone-rock album by Ora Iso (Kathleen Malay & Jason Kudo).
As I walked into a recordstore and started to look around I was interested by looking at the cover. Both of the workers start talking about the album and how good it is. It seemed like a local favourite. When I got home and listened to the vinyl's I got. The first one was some classic techno, the 2nd with some more house in it.
Then I got to this and got surprised.
I picked this up on a limb and thought it would just be another electronic driven thing. I got met with a heavy tiring drone sound with intense female vocals over it. With sounds that feels stretched out. It's almost post apocalyptic. With its beautiful mix of guitars, synths, kicks, piano and more to help achieve this sound. To tie it all together the depressive female vocal tones on it help bring both anxiety and relief into the sound. It goes on about the sick nature of the man created cancer's inside our minds and body's. It tries to tell that we fucked up, and we will suffer for it. The heavy post apocalyptic sounds match this like heaven. I feel a disconnect between the playful cover and the drone-y music and the heavy lyrics. But that does make for a good surprise. The variation in the record feels great. They combine elements of rock, drone, techno and ambient, and continue to variate on them as the record goes on. It is a great example of using repetition to your advantage, by staying with the same sound but changing details and details till you completely switch over to something else. They do this just at the right point with From the Hallway to the Door which came at the point when the drone was getting to me personally.
The biggest issue with the whole is that. The whole drone thing does very much get to you. But maybe that's just because I don't listen to much of the genre. But even for someone like me who does not listen to drone, It seems very accessible, and with the mixing of genre's is a great entry point into the genre for me. Leaving the record gives you more questions than anything. But it leaves you with this unsettling dread. It is far from something happy or cheery. It will make you think and ponder what we actually do in life and how we ended up here and choosing like this. It is an hard listen but a good one.
I was surprised to find out how small a following the band has, considering the pure quality of the material. Getting recommendations in store seems to win again, because there is no way in hell I would've found this otherwise. If you have the time, go listen to the album. Due to the small nature of the artist and the pure quality here I can not tell you otherwise. It is unbelievable that Ora Iso is so small, but for the own artists sanity I could see why for the better. With the anti-societal lyrics and the fact that Jason Kudo now lives in the mountains in deep isolation, then this to me is a final message before seclusion.
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