Whoever said obscure is a bad thing has never heard of Ophiuco. To be honest, I had a problem pronouncing their name for a bit but have no doubt about assessing their talent. Their new track, “Pneumatic Psycho Bodhidharma”, is an acid trip without the acid but with all of the foresight. This is one of those videos that, if you were watching with your parents, they would undoubtedly say “I don’t get it.” or “This is weird.” with that judgmental tone they used to use to show that they were better than some and dumber than most and you will smile and think to yourself about how you broke the cycle of that baby boomer generation and became more enlightened because of it. And that is why music as good as and like this aren’t meant to fill the generation gap as much as it is made to widen it and, in a sense, move society forward so the mistakes of the past are never repeated. Your mind is now open because it must be filled. “Pneumatic Psycho Bodhidharma” is an example that beauty is much, much more than skin deep.
Ophiuco’s “Hybrid” LP will be released on December 11th via Seahorse Recordings.
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While typically labeled as trip hop, these new compositions are more hybrids with electronica and other related genres. Core members are Marino “Malima” Peiretti (guitar), Paolo “Ezua” Zangara (bass) and Ilaria “Ali” Nicolini (vocals). The new songs also feature vocals from Luca Morselli, Irene Parabita and Nathalie Rosemarie Carlesso (Tin Toys, Little Creatures), providing a variety of colours across the tracks.
Peiretti and Zangara are no stranger to attention at the European level, as previous members of drum & bass band IK14. With that projet, they played at some of the most popular Italian and European festivals, alongside such bands as Chumbawamba, Apollo 440, Kruder & Dorfmeister, and Nine Inch Nails.
Together they create a fluctuating musical cocktail of Bristol-style trip hop with plenty of hidden elements from other genres, such as electro, jazz, dub and rock. What might otherwise seem to be contrasting flows actually mesh together nicely in the capable hands of Asclepius’ followers (the god of medicine, bearing the snake in his hands and representing the 13th constellation, the Ophiucus). As a result, the band is charting new territory relative to their Italian peers.
A statement issued by the band reads: “We are individuals determined by history. We are those who wish to express themselves outside of any genres or schemes, and without boundaries, even though you may become wedged into some genre in the end”.
Their music is driven by new emotions, intensity and experimentation with respect to new sound scenarios. “Hybrid… Sound as wings… Sound as tongues… Sound as flames… Sound as motivation” echo the lyrics from their first single from this EP “Pneumatic Psycho Bodhidharma”. Certainly individual songs drift away similarly to the sounds forged by Massive Attack or Bark Psychosis.
Since releasing ‘Hypno Queue’, the band members have enjoyed many solo performances and new experiences and finally, they have come together again to run through what they describe as “open valleys threatened by dark omens”. “There is no finish line, no limitations and no expectations,” they explain.
Ophiuco ‘Hybrid’ was recorded in Varese, Lombardy (between Milan and the Swiss border) by band members Peiretti and Zangara, and mastered in Viterbo (near Rome) by Paolo Messere of Blessed Child Opera.