Album Appreciation: Odum by Sick Gazelle

Music is weird… it’s subjective… often indescribable… sometimes annoying… but just occasionally it feels transcendent. I cannot remember where I first found out about this album, recorded in Chicago… it seems to have just materialised at some point… entering my consciousness through some sweet spot. One minute it wasn’t there… the next minute it was.

I have been listening to ‘Odum’ a lot and I cannot for the life of me understand why I like it so much… all I know is that the whole album hits me somewhere that is quite fundamental and emotional. Saying I ‘connect with it’ is perhaps the best way of describing it.

Sick Gazelle are Eric Block (Veloce) and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House) and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and this, to my knowledge, is the band’s first recording. This is remarkable given the balance that this set has… granted these are experienced musicians… but still.

I think that it is this sense of equilibrium that is one of the reasons that I like this so much… every sound feels like it is in harmony with every other. Everything here is improvised, and yet nothing feels out of place. Instead you are left with something that feels utterly timeless… something that feels almost weightless… outside of time, and culturally agnostic.

There is an ambience to these recordings (apart from the final and much more upbeat shorter track ‘Laguna’) which feel like a sonic flotation tank, drawing in on a number of genre (jazz most notably) but it is not where the music comes from that is of principal importance here… it is where it takes you, and where that is is somewhere that feels to me to be very special and personal. It feels to me like a personal ‘safe space’, a place to go when things all get too much and I just need to decompress.

I think that it takes something that you feel at one with to do that, and Sick Gazelle seem to have done that for me, I can tune in and drop out… and when I come back the world seems a better place.

Thank you guys!

‘Odum’ is available now from War Crime Recordings here, and from the Sick Gazelle bandcamp here.



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