As a sound therapist and avid student/teacher of meditation, I have a natural curiosity for any piece of music that both intrigues my senses and sends me off to my ‘happy place’. As a novice tribal drummer (any lacking talent matched by ambitious, raw enthusiasm), I’m also heavily drawn towards any form of percussion which makes me want to dance, or simply drift away in time and space. The recently-released, debut single from OXIDIX covers both of these specific musical genres and pulls me in, like iron filings to a magnet.
Manuel Tröhler (a.k.a. OXIDIX) from Switzerland has an interesting musical pedigree. He’s a D.J., turntablist, remixer and producer from the Swiss capital of Bern. He also works as a backup M.C. for various band formations in the fields of hip hop, world and electronic music, as well as working on collaborations with renowned European artists and completing a 19-month world trip through Asia, Africa and South America back in 2012 and 2013 .
OXIDIX’s compositions are created somewhere between the musical genres of downtempo, electronic and hip hop. In his own words, ‘My music blends together the rhythms, melodies and mythologies of different continents with the sounds of the forest, the chirping of crickets, trickling stones and crackling leaves’.
The title of this debut single, ‘Shamanu’, originates from two words: ‘Shaman’ and a call sign, ‘Manu’. Indeed, the opening few bars of ‘Shamanu’ immediately transport the listener to a tranquil, forest location, beginning with the sound of chirping crickets. Spatial bells are introduced, alongside a gorgeous, dreamy synthesiser pad which immediately places you at ease for what is about to come. A steady percussion (which reminded me of sitting by a campfire) and further tom tom drums maintain rhythm as atmospheric tribal vocals are added to the mix. By the time an etheric synth sequencer joins into this harmonious combination, the listener is literally being swept away by a wealth of sumptuous sound.
The end result is over six minutes of beautiful music that works extremely well on headphones at full volume. The master mix is perfect and all of the different sounds combine together flawlessly. Yes, this is a track designed for contemplation, reflection and meditation, but there is a primeval, etheric energy and power at play here and it is very hard not to lose oneself in the separate tracks that Manuel has created for this single.
The music video for ‘Shamanu’ flows with simplicity. Here, we watch Manuel walking through a forest, clearly at one with nature and within his natural, harmonious environment. Here walks a man totally at ease and firmly within his comfort zone. No need for rush. No requirement to hurry. For a few minutes, all is well with the world and perfectly under control. In this way, the video perfectly reflects the single.
This gorgeous, debut single is a foretaste of four further singles and an E.P. from OXIDIX to follow later in 2021 and is (literally) a breath of fresh air to the ears. More please!
Find out more on OXIDIX’s official website
Review by Kevin Milsom