Stellar OM Source: Trilogy Select (Olde English Spelling Bee)
Stellar OM Source is the nom de musique of Christelle Gualdi, and this release on Olde English Spelling Bee is comprised of tracks from her three self-released albums between 2005 and 2009. The aesthetic of her music seems to be the convergence of home-made synth soundtracks, 70s/80s sci-fi scoring and lo-fi atmospheres. There’s something strangely authentic about many of these pieces that would convince me of an origin of 30 years+ ago; this is due both to the production quality as well as the sounds themselves. Many of the tracks are deceptively layered, sounding at first simple but then revealing piled on layers of overtones, sounds and effects. At times she’s unafraid to let a synth lead shred out what could best be called a “solo,” but usually rampant with treatments like oscillating octave parameters and filters lending it the quality of a call to arms. There are hints of Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, even Vangelis, but without syrupy nostalgia. If anything, a track like “Island Best” aligns more closely with the interstitial themes of Boards of Canada, fitting right in as some long lost soundtrack to a science film. Sometimes the tracks are dense, midrange dreams like “Sand Lie” or “Rites of Fusion,” but elsewhere they bustle with activity such as the soaring lead of “Red Green Blue” or the squiggly high-end of “Time Sensitive.” It’s yet another strange foray into music out of time from Olde English Spelling Bee, a label that seems consistently to indulge lo-fi tendencies and a yearning for the past in continually new and unusual ways.
Watch/listen: Magnetic Depths / RItes of Fusion