in the current music scene where fusion of genres and multitude of postmodern references seem to perform a never-ending ritual of chasing its own tail, oil 10 comes as a refreshing treat.
this latest album on brume is a continuation of oil 10 style; arena is an exploration of pure electro themes that are immediately captivating with their nobility and romanticism, possessing that perfect taste without falling into cheap sentimentalism or tongue-in-cheek sleaziness. album's cover design is the most fitting visual representation, an immediate immersion into oil 10 aura.
oil 10 has always possessed a perfectly refined style; this time around gilles stresses his more whimsical nature, adopting more expressive melodies and treated vocal samples. arena comes across as a lighter and more dancier album, due to the less aggressive contrasts between minimalism and added playful touch that does not obscure, but only emphasizes the timeless elegancy of sci-fi feel. I have always admired in oil 10 its contrast of robotic, self-imposed strictness (stroboscope flashes of beats, charming melodic angularity, and rough rhythmic edges) and coolest analog melodies, without any trace of self-indulgent pathos.
any listener would recognize oil 10's simplicity as properties of succinct style that is both expressive and meticulously constructed. underneath arena's perceived simplicity one will find plenty of subtleties - from carefree summertime quirkiness of "dernier jour" (much in the vein of older albums with gentle rhythmic irregularities and dreamlike nature of analog instruments) to unbelievably addictive retro-futuristic "lost in metropolis" that with its more orchestrated "busy" feel and processed vocals immediately brings up the visuals from tarô rin's picture with its complex fusion of 30's and sci-fi. these ideas are taken even further in cinematic "stop [universal]" with its almost epic feel. and of course, "wide knowledge" is probably the most moving track on the album with wavering delicate line throughout, enveloped in deep, sensual darkness.
recently french labels have displayed a great deal of energy and taste, focusing on multitude of subgenres in darker electronic music. with oil 10 brume opens a number of doors that might have been closed for this label before.