Last summer, while almost everyone (including me) was too busy listening to Settle on repeat, Oliver Cean, that goes by the stage name of Oceaán, quietly started to make his way through the music blogosphere. His visiting card was “Need U”, a relaxing dub meets R&B tune which you will certainly want to hear at sunset. In less than a year, Cean has done a couple of incredible remixes (please hear the ones he did for MØ and Woman’s Hour) and shared some more songs which, like the one immediately mentioned above, are now included in his self-titled EP.
One might be tempted to think that things are happening pretty fast for Oceaán, but let’s not jump to hurried conclusions. For these days it might seem the usual accelerated rise, but that doesn’t mean that Oceaán wanted to rush it. On the contrary, as he told Clash, he focused first on the remixes he was asked to do and only afterwards went on working again on his sound. The four remaining songs on the EP definitely prove that he very much succeeded in that.
“Turned Away”, the astonishing opener and best song on it by far, finds Cean singing in a captivating tone over a vicious African minimalistic rhythm; just imagine Jamie Woon filtered by Greenwood Sharps and it’s pretty much close to what it sounds like. However, it’s more surprising to see him building up an intro that suggests an inclination to the music of Voices From The Lake in “The Basement”. This song borrows the softness of summer nights for the background of an unsolved love affair which comes to a conclusion with the sudden and totally unexpected end of the song.
“To Lose” brings ice encapsulated sorrows, sounding almost elegiacal. In this sombre setting, Oceaán shows that is quite capable of keeping up the tension until the purposely late climax comes (spoiler, sorry!) as powerful as a catharsis can be.
The last track on the EP is driven by a irresistible distorted synth-line which definitely adds an experimental feel to it. As if this were not enough, Oliver Cean highlights again that rhythmic section and arpeggiated bass that work so well in “Turned Away”, just to make sure that the listener will be completely enthralled.