Review: Oniris – Odysseus

Oniris drops into the Astropolis imprint with a four-pack of deep, dark progressive cuts. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes a listen to an accomplished EP from the French producer.

Today sees the release of Onirisprogressive house epic, Odysseus, on France’s Astropolis imprint – a tetralogy of atmospheric productions that take the prog sound and give it a somewhat grittier edge, one that errs more towards the direction of techno than it does the housier end of the genre.

Oniris – AKA Xavier Januario – hails from the South of France, and has seen his productions bolting out of imprints including BedrockHerzblut, and Ovum faster than a thoroughbred colt. It should come as no surprise, then, that his third outing on Astropolis should be a formidable one at least. It doesn’t disappoint in this respect at all, as Xavier delivers fully on three of the four four tracks (the other a feisty remix of the title track by Marc Romboy).

The opener, Odysseus, gets the party started with a thumping kick drum, as shimmering synths dance playfully around the treble. This segues us nicely into a rolling, acidic bassline, heavy on the endorphin rushes as Oniris lifts towards a monumental fanfare to conclude the track, the lead swelling and swaying, cracking through the mix like thunder. Laurent Garnier played the track at DGTL Amsterdam last year to a rapturous reception. That’s a pretty good indication of how good the EP is, non?

Track two – Raver – does exactly what you would expect it to say on its proverbial tin. A big, snarling brute of a track that is ripe for unleashing onto an unsuspecting warehouse crowd. This would sound even better coming out of a high-end rig, and we can imagine the frenetic claps and tremendous horns, that start midway through, sending that same crowd into a frenzy. Raver was this writers favourite production on the EP, and we’re pretty sure our opinion will be shared by DJs far and wide, only a fool wouldn’t build this into a progressive set.

Check out our review archive here, for more exciting releases.

Marc Romboy takes the remix mantle up, leading Odysseus down a more mesmeric path. His interpretation retains the rhapsody of the original, while introducing elastic, rubber-band synths and a bassline that would see Stephan Bodzin sweating nervously. A respectful remix from the Systematic chief, who deftly makes his own mark on the track while allowing certain elements of Oniris‘ version to still take centre stage.

The fourth track Borderline, opens with a lovely acid bassline that bounds around the percussion, ushering in more little squiggles before the synth kicks in leading us up to the first break, vocal snippets panning about hypnotically and into a hail of drums. The last third of the production sees an arpeggiating chord progression sweeping us toward a huge, euphoric culmination, complete with twinkly, top-end synth work. Our appetites are well and truly satisfied.

If you’re lucky enough to be knocking around in Paris tonight, then we suggest you go and catch Oniris and Romboy, who will both be playing at the city’s iconic Rex Club. In the meantime, take a listen to previews of the tracks, below, and support the artists by buying them, here.

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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