Describing themselves as “the French punkadelic occult rock band!” Aqua Nebula Oscillator have seemingly to have cut themselves off from modern life and created an array of media over the span of their career including albums, split releases and short films.
The group comprises of David Sphaèr’os (guitar, vox, sitar and organ, Master Of Ceremony), Adrian Bang (drums, orchestra conductor), Andreas Carrere (oscillation, organ, flute, tambourine, backing vocal) and Alexis Raphaeloff (Bass, EarthQuaker) and these multi-instrumentalists have crafted a work full of creativity and expression.
Opening with the dark title track, featuring children singing and a speech delivered over feedback, irregular beats and generally unsettling noises, and this is just where it starts. After this intro comes ‘Up To The Sky’ starting off with slow almost contagious bassline. The vocals come in, and offer the bands darker side, with this track in particular focusing on death. Although the subject matter changes, it is often the lyrics that show this solemn side, more often than not backed up by a more upbeat melody.
Most of the tracks on here are a mixture of different sounds and genres, throwing in the kind of fuzzed up distorted guitars you would hear in the early 90’s, some full on 60’s / 70’s psychedelia, classic rock and even a few moments of funk that emerge through the feedback. The track ‘Jungle Man’ even throws in a little creole / calypso in for good measure.
The album does have its quieter moments too, with ‘Halo Tears’, the first part of the largely acoustic ‘Crystal Man’ and the short album closer ‘Frankie’ all show another side to the band, even if at times (and especially on ‘Crystal Man’) the band do revert back to the soaring classic rock solo.
All in all, “Spiritus Mundi” is a very decent album. The array of different instruments and different approaches to each song show a deep understanding of the music they are making and manage to make the songs sound both carefully put together, whilst also at times appearing to float off into pure improvised jams. At times straightforward, at times experimental, but through it all it manages to keep the listener engaged as to find out what is coming next from Aqua Nebula Oscillator.