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: dis​cogs​.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)