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  Horchata and Ocosi  
  Zero 1 Media  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

Let me begin this review by saying that, while I certainly have a background in electronic/ambient music, it is not something that I currently listen to a lot. I feel a bit like my fellow Minion Tracers felt when she sat down to review a different release by Horchata: Iím not sure that I necessarily like this record, but I canít truthfully say that I donít like it either.

Apparently, this eleven-track disc is the result of collaboration between knob-twiddling ventures Horchata (Mike Palace), and Ocosi (Paul Molyneux and Simon Smerdon). What exactly each of the three above-mentioned gentlemen did on this record is not specified in the liner notes, but I can assume that they all shared the button mashing duties equally. But letís pause for a minute before I say anything specifically about this record. All actual music aside, I am absolutely astounded by the sheer volume of material Horchata has released, and for that he wins points with me. I (as an artist myself) find that I am at my most creatively vital when I am releasing as much material as I possibly can. It keeps me excited and keeps my music current and fresh.

Anyway, down to the music. While I do think that Horchata/Ocosi is a solid record within this genre, I donít believe that Horchata is really doing anything all that groundbreaking. Yes, there is some nice drone that would be perfect background music for a relaxing evening alone in a steel mill. Yes, there are some haunting sounds that a reminiscent of early work by Mick Harrisís Scorn. But once again I am going to have to agree with Tracersís earlier impression of Horchata: while good and solid, most of this music seems as though it would be much more appropriate as a movie soundtrack.

All of the above said, I feel like Iíve given an inaccurately negative image of this disc, although I donít mean to. Let me reiterate that this is a very strong collection of ambient works, and I would certainly recommend it to someone who is really into that sort of thing. To my out-of-date-in-this-genre ears, this disc is a mix of early Scorn, a little Orb, and a teensy bit of Download. Clanky, yet unobtrusive. Drone-ish, but not overly melancholy. Dark, yet not quite depressing.

Overall, I would be inclined to say that I am impressed with Horchata, not necessarily due to musical talent, but more so because of Mike Palaceís obvious love of what he does. His huge body of work and willingness to release it all speaks volumes about his determination and potential longevity.

Related Links:
  Integral, an earlier album by Horchata  

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