after a bit of research this mysterious project on french ombre sonore label turns out to be a collection of tracks recorded back in 1996/1997 by licinio da costa, also known as a part of stigma that ceased to exist in 1998. do not let the name "stigma" confuse you, the material on this disk might be a little dated for those that have been following this style for past 4-5 years, but I am willing to bet that onukeio will be a welcome addition to any collection of dark ambient/rhythmic industrial/noise fan.
probably the closest comparison I can come up with is the atmosphere created by seal phuric's deceased reload ambient label, namely delta files and torsion's albums that combined finest dark ambient textures with hypnotic industrial rhythms. yet another comparison would be substanz t and his early pulsating and dark trance-inducing compositions. or perhaps I will dare to mention xingu hill's maps of the impossible and fiction that combined smooth organic textures and heavy technoid sound.
the names above will take you back a few years, and this is what I appreciate about this album so much, since it highlights those remarkable albums that I keep coming back to every few months. they outline the general direction, but in order to imagine onukeio sound you have to be able to combine industrial drones and almost ethereal melodies on one composition with abrasive, slowly advancing noises that develop into steadily pulsating track that has a continuous presence of melody and depth. the latter is what makes onukeio such an addictive listen, it has this incredible cinematic feel, the perspective achieved through distant cold strings and echoing basslines.
this genre has seen too many albums disappearing in obscurity because of poor distribution, or simply lack of exposure or education. this is why I am really glad to see works like these appearing at the time when this music style has matured enough to finally appreciate albums like onukeio. perhaps one day the likes of reload ambient and nova zembla will re-surface again, resurrected through the efforts of obsessive collectors turned music historians.