Review: OMS – Twentieth Day, Tenth Month, Thirty-Eight Minutes, Forty-Seven Seconds (218, Oct 20)

Auspiciously introduced as “some histrionic bitch ambient for the ego,” the newest release from 218, my newest favorite label is just as ambitious, adventurous, and aspirational as one could possibly expect. Twentieth Day, Tenth Month, Thirty-Eight Minutes, Forty-Seven Seconds is the first and perhaps—so far—the only piece of music put out by OMS, a project about which there is absolute zero further information (other than the implied descriptors of “histrionic” and “bitch,” I suppose), and though I honestly anticipated the opposite, the barebones innocuity of the straightforward title is not at all reflected in the track itself, which is positively bursting at the seams with complexity, abstraction, and meditative maximalism. Despite evoking plenty of glorious, tranquil lethargy with its soft sweeps of expressive piano and plasticine new-age washes, “Autumn, Anno Domini” moves quite quickly, twirling and tumbling leisurely like a densely mosaicked sea turtle in a rushing ocean current; the first time, I was more than halfway through before I even really processed what was happening. There are some sharp edges here and there—sprouting boils of screeching dissonance, a jagged chunk of indulgent electric guitar noodling, hallucinatory vocal incursions—but everything always resolves in these beautiful intermittent structural wells into which the clashing, myriad assortments cascade and out of which sublime major-key distillations flow. A therapeutic think tank (the aquarium kind) for the thickheaded.