[sic] Magazine

Ocoeur – Everything

n5MD is the specialist IDM label with an unswerving commitment to emotional content. No artist is accepted onto the n5 roster unless its output contains plenty of feels. Technology may be involved with hands to move and heads to guide but the results speak directly to the heart. Bordeaux-based electronic composer Franck Zaragoza (performing name Ocoeur) certainly fits the bill. Actually the name Ocoeur is a clever play on words, Au Coeur meaning ‘of the heart’ in French. E.g. Mal Au Coeur translates as Heartache. The music is equally clever and heartfelt.

Everything is the 6th Ocoeur album. Synths are to the fore right away on opener ‘Ascent’. I am put in mind of Vangelis and not for the first time on an n5 release. It’s a welcome connection though. Think Blade Runner with its themes of what it means to be human. I love this angle within IDM music as it perfectly captures the synthesis of humanity with artificiality – the heartrending beauty of a synthesizer piece. – glitches and drops which provoke both thought and response. It’s a fusion of man and machine which opens doorways to possibilities.

The raison d’être behind Ocoeur’s latest long player has to do with being present in the moment. Zaragoza observes how we all lead these internal lives. We could be taking a bus or a train home surrounded by nature; by architecture or people – lives like our own. Yet we sit with our faces down into our devices. We choose social media or our own headspace over what is all around us. At the heart of Everything is the question whether we shouldn’t slow down and engage more with our surroundings. I think Zaragoza has a point. I mean, would a confined prisoner dream of his iPad or rather the feeling of sunlight on his/her face? Ocoeur reinforces this point with the sublime 20 min plus duo that close out Everything. ‘Dawn’ and ‘Dusk’ are shimmering exercises in minimalism. Of the two I slightly lean toward ‘Dawn’. This is unusual for a night owl such as myself but the music just connects with me so much. The optimism that Ocoeur manages to create in such a simple refrain is astonishing.

Everything is a film noir of an album. It is impressive and so very cool. Yet it is a noir out of which we step. Into light. Into hope. It’s that sunlight on the face of a released prisoner again. Ocoeur unlocked the door for him.

For us.

Everything is out on Feb 28th on 180-gram ultra clear vinyl and digipak compact disc.

Preorder and other info at n5MD