The debut album by Omniverse is an eclectic and
densely-layered mix. Dandelion tosses driving guitar,
trip hop beats, 60's influenced lounge music,
downtempo grooves, and even an homage to a
spaghetti western or two.
Omniverse is a one-man, many-machines band
based in Seattle. The man behind the machines is
Todd Wallar, but Omniverse better describes the
omnivorous, omnidirectional scope of sonic
influence in his music. Disparate sonic threads are
woven into Omniverse's downtempo grooves with a
down-home texture, lending a rich, full flavor to his
latest release, Dandelion.
Dandelion comes on smooth and easy, like an
aging Japanese gigolo. There's a subtle yet
calculated playfulness to the opening track,
"Hakkaido Hideout;" it's the soundtrack for a
summer dinner with nice wine and arched
eyebrows. Shall we continue this conversation on
my boat? It's just over here.
Other tracks, like "Open Sesame" have a harder
edge. What is the sound of sitting on a city bus, the
hard plastic seats, stopping and starting, someone's
butt in your face, people on the sidewalk, people
shouting, snippets of Spanish, planes passing
overhead? "Open Sesame" is an urban song, with
urban sophistication barely concealing the
inevitable undertone of urban decay.
Nevertheless, it's dangerous to talk about shifting
musical styles. In these download-mix-burn times, it
isn't too difficult to slap together some simplistic,
head-of-Britney-Spears-body-of-porn-star mix and
call it a blend of musical styles, or even a new
genre. Dandelion lives firmly in the land of
downtempo, but takes excursions into other genres,
creating a sophisticated stylistic blend exposing
effortless and elegant connections between genres.
And there ends any similarity with porn.
Mainstream music, as always, is polished into
oblivion and lacquered as the hair of its performers,
which makes albums like Dandelion sound even
more unique and refreshing. It's like star-gazing and
suddenly noticing constellations that had somehow
never seemed visible. Is that a satellite? A plane?
No. It's Omniverse.
The music of Omniverse has appeared on compilation
projects, independent short films, and the feature film,
The Matrix Revisited.