Olen`K – Silently Noisy

Olen’k was one of the surprises on the Cold Meat Industry compilation cd Flowers Made Of Snow. The debut album of the band opens with ‘Season Of Tears’, the track that was featured on this compilation. Even after hearing this song many times it stays a magical track with a beautiful serene atmosphere. Despite its tranquil nature the song is powerful and very lively.

What follows is an album that fuses subtle electronics with dreamy wave elements and some ethnic influences. But, not in one other track the band is capable of creating the magical ambiance of ‘Season Of Tears’.
The music is performed professionally, the instruments are played very well and the songs are good, but the music becomes a sort of muzak. It is nice to hear in the background, but never really catching the attention.

Not even the trip hop beats on some tracks can change this. Maybe I am not made for this record, because as I said I recognize the quality. It is just that the album in general doesn’t impress me much. Possible other people well be touched more by Olen’k.

France seems to be building up a reputation of good music. Recently the Boredomproduct label already surprised me with very good (synth/electro) releases. This time it is Cold Meat Industry that comes with another French act I like a lot. Olen’k combines traditional influences with modern electronic elements. A band with a melodic style that one would not expect on CMI (normally reserved for Swedish acts with a dark ambient/industrial sound), but which fits in when it comes to the high quality of the release.

Dead Can Dance is a band that pops up in my head quite a lot when listening to this album, but Olen’K adds more elements to their sound, like electro. Furthermore the French trio also adds triphop, heavenly voices and tribal influences to their musical mix, everything seems to be possible. They use traditional instruments supported by electronic strings and the varied female vocal lines are a characteristic trademark.
All styles are interwoven by Olen’K in a wonderful way, creating an album that already makes you wish for a live-performance by this band (they play in Den Bosch at 11 June 2005 and at the Summer Darkness festival in Utrecht in August).

Listening to the album one can’t escape the impression that it is an album by a band that has been together for years.. no greater is the surprise when one finds out “Silently Noisy” is only their first real album (they had already produced an EP). If this is just a starting point, I can’t help wondering to where they will progress. A band I will for sure keep an eye out for.

artist: Olen`K
label: Cold Meat Industry
details: 11 tracks, 2005 [cmi134]