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 it's 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.
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