Ovum has become a four letter word synonymous with 'minimalist' in my vocabulary. I've called the sounds of Sweden's Karl Midholm minimal in the past, and this new material not only confirms it yet again but takes the simplicity of his style to a new level. Even the title of the disc, Epepe EP, uses a minimal amount of letters.
I threw this disc on for the first time in my living room (for some strange reason it crashes my computer without fail) and didn't even realize it was playing for the opening seven minutes of the first track, "Bolesc". This is basically ambient music in the truest sense of the word. It needs to be cranked up until the deep, bassy drones rattle your speakers before you're really experiencing the song. It adds to the room like a refrigerator's constant hum gives life to a kitchen - a soft, continual aural presence from which every other noise builds on. Compared to this first track, "Islossning," which follows, seems far more dense and structured. It has a more ominous feel, with the drones splitting off into deeper and sharper portions, which ebb and flow with suspenseful intensity.
The title track follows the apparent trend of the disc by getting progressively darker. A slight, calming audio fuzz becomes the background, with heavy, booming tones, though distant sounding, dominating the track. It's like lying on your back in an empty field, running water nearby, looking into a pale grey sky full of far away thunder. It would make an interesting opening to a silent black and white short film, Ovum as the soundtrack.
Cenote, the final piece, has an odd, eerie feel, as though it were the darkness of nightfall following the storm. The same simple approach is applied, as with all the tracks, yet an entirely new outcome stands as the result. That's probably one of the most impressive aspects of this EP - how Midholm can take a basic, monochromatic palette of noise and create tracks with different feelings and undertones; varying degrees of emotion.