EP REVIEW: The Ocean Beneath – ‘For the Love of Music’


The Ocean Beneath make music that positively oozes class and sophistication. If they are new to you what they do is 80s inspired electronica; but crucially it’s analogue. They are also capable of the odd trip into the unusual, like their cover of ‘Fortunate Son’. So something surprising is always possible. So there was a degree of drooling with anticipation about this new EP at LSF Towers.

The opening track ‘Sounds’ sets the scene for this EP. Rich layers of sound. Smooth to the max. Slow and measured. It being instrumental the thing that compels about this track is the progression, the way it’s almost a set of variations on a theme. And then there’s the unexpected; the small sounds that dart in from nowhere and thrill. It’s so obviously a crafted composition; orchestral in feel.

The title track ‘For the Love of Music’ has so much of an 80s feel and sound that it sent a shiver up my spine as I was transported back in time. It takes the feel of ‘Sounds’ and turns it into something that changes and changes; voice samples, breaks into a sparse Japanese sound. It compels, it takes you on a journey.

‘Bright Lights’ has a sound that at times reminds me of the Bladerunner soundtrack – slightly Japanese sounding synth, a top layer of piano sounding sound. There’s a groove to this, it’s not a dance track but it grooves. And again there’s the unexpected; dropouts, a vocal sample.

Listening to this as a whole EP – which I strongly encourage you to do – you can take this as one piece with three movements. There are themes and feels that are carried through the three tracks.

This EP drips with the feeling that The Ocean Beneath made the music on it with love and a joy in the act of making music, their music. You can feel the craft, time and effort that went into making this. The careful choice of sounds, the adding of small sounds here, an FX there.

All of this is important but even more important, at least for me, is that this sounds organic, it has soul and heart. And this is what gives it a beauty, this is what makes it so compelling.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.