Foton – Omega 8.0
Foton’s Omega is a strange trip. BBC Radiophonic Workshop is an obvious influence. However Foton is not alone in this admiration for the playful side of experimentation, The Focus Group is another fellow explorer of these terrains. The nature of the work makes the album a difficult to fully understand on the first listen. It requires deep, multiple listens to fully appreciate the level of skill. In some ways, Foton takes its admiration for the quirky and downright strange to another place. Rather than simply recycle old sounds, Foton has a new take on the method.
A few moments build up only to be abandoned at whim. Instability is a hallmark of this particular sound yet most modern homage to the sound ignores this, trying to transform the pieces into straight-ahead pop songs. While the track lengths might give the appearance of conventional structure the pieces are in a constant state of flux. The opener ‘The Way to Omega’ offers the sounds of shuffling before a mournful organ melody is constantly interrupted by literally nothing. Eventually this comes close to a near-song. ‘Slope 7F’ gets near absurd in its dramatic buildups and sudden drop-offs. This is my favorite track. It is positively demented in how it plays with the listener’s expectations. An organ wheezes its way through until it reaches a bizarre, dreamlike conclusion after so many pauses. ‘In the Open Space’ shows off Foton’s ability to take experimentation seriously and over the course of 15 minutes manages to take the sonic exploration seriously, creating a piece that confounds with a constant state of pulsing bass.
It is hard to categorize Omega. Foton exists nowhere. Everything on here feels transitory. This is an interesting sensation of having literally no idea what will happen next.