Review: Musk Ox (2007)


artist: Musk Ox
release: Musk Ox
format: CD-R
year of release: 2007
label: Self-released
duration: 42:43

detailed info: discogs.com

Musk Ox is the recording name of Nathanaël Larochette, a young Canadian artist. The project expresses and is inspired by the beauty of nature. As a style of musical expression, melancholic acoustic songs are chosen, and in this respect, Larochette stays firmly within the tradition om important predecessors such as Ulver and Empyrium.

Acoustic (nylon string) guitar is the basic instrument, as you might expect, with occasional appearances of grand piano, glockenspiel, melodica, flute, and chants. The production and playing on this demo are quite good, and it is a fine piece of sad mood music. On the whole, the music is a bit less dynamic than that on Ulver‘s Kveldssanger or an artist like Vàli, relying mostly on calm, long tracks instead of many variations. In terms of atmosphere, I think a comparison with October Falls might be most appropriate.

All the name-dropping suggests strong parallels to these artists, and indeed, this is the case. That is also the main weak spot of this album: lack of an own sound or original approach. A bit more variation in tempo couldn’t hurt either. However, I certainly believe the artist is capable of growth and the development of his own style. I hope to hear more of this soon.

So, despite some beginner’s reliance on the sound of others, I think this is a pleasant and promising demo. Be sure to give it a try if you like this kind of music.

Reviewed by O.S.

Tracklist:

1. Un Jardin au Bout du Monde (13:31)
2. Sur une Infinie Route de Terre (8:54)
3. Entre la Terre et le Ciel (14:10)
4. Les Plus Beaux de Nos Jours (6:26)