After dropping an EP and a few mixtapes, Oismia, a South Australian MPC mastermind with a blues/ folk background, has finally released his full length debut. Occupying the middle ground between Pete Rock’s soulful hip hop and Andres’ jazzy house, Oismia is a breath of fresh air in an Australian beat scene dominated by quantised 808 hihats and too familiar synths.
Nicaragua Nights is his debut LP, and it delivers from start to finish. Informed by repeat listenings of Bonobo’s North Borders, and artists like Lapalux and guys on Brainfeeder, Oisima skilfully manages a delicate mix of instrumental tracks and those with added vocalists to create a work which will appeal to fans of the beats scene and also to a casual listener.
His newfound approach to songwriting, as opposed to mere beat-making, shines through on Sun of Truth featuring the soulful vocals of Mei Sariswati, and on one of his earlier tracks Everything About Her featuring Anabel Weston. Anabel Weston also features on Makes me Feel Alright, a track which uses space to great effect, emphasising the atmospherics and the lofty beat. The real delights of the album come from the instrumental tracks like Grovers Lament, Summertime Shuffle and MmmHmm which showcase a lush, jazzy side, all featuring Oismia’s unique push pull.
The majority of the album features live recordings, as opposed to just samples, and this helps set this album apart from its peers’. The final track of the album Take Your Time, is a fitting closer, bringing everything to a climax in a wash of instrumentation, which features contributions from a twenty of his friends, collaborators and some Swedish backpackers.
In recent years Australian electronic music has been labelled as the ‘Australian Sound’, due to the rise of Future Classic artists such as Flume. Oisima and artists like Hiatus Kaiyote, and Jordan Rakei (and maybe Chet Faker), are putting forward a good case that a new, more soulful, phase of that sound has dawned.