Music Reviews
Oscar G

Oscar G


Nervous Records

Let’s take this two-CD plus DVD set one piece at a time. Start with the DVD of Oscar G mixing at the Space Terrace, an ultra-hip club somewhere in Miami. It’s broad daylight and the place is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with a few hundred MTV reality show clones. The guys all look vaguely Latin, but it’s more hairstyle and tanning salon time than true Iberian heritage. The women all have artful collagen in their lips, tats on their naughty bits, and the newest, softest breast implants. Everybody dances half-heartedly, as if they know it’s going to be a long night and the X hasn’t arrived yet. A bored looking security staff member stands in front of the DJ booth, protecting Mr. G from the coolness of the crowd. Attempting to perk up the event are some nubile dancers in fishnets and low-slung bikini briefs, each covered with iron-on letters spelling out “OSCAR G.” It’s sexy, but has a weird aftertaste of little League practice. Watching over the event is a large, well-lit Buddha head. Buddha emits the Zen vibe that makes this crowd know they’re hip enough to get into the right spot, and the coolest thing they can do is look bored. Showing anything like enthusiasm would be so… Orlando.

The Live from the Space Terrace disc recaps the audio track from the DVD. The vague and possibly dubbed-in crowd noises remain, but without the dancers and mannequin crowd, you can wake up and focus on the sound. The drum and bass opener “I Think of You” seems to go on forever even by club standards, but by the second cut we are entering more interesting territory. The steady 210 BPM pulse remains, but the wisp of some slightly more complex vocals flash in for “Cry of Creation.” By cut five, there’s actually some clever stuff. “Easy Rider” lists all the addiction that drives the scene: “I’m addicted to life. I’m addicted to love. I’m addicted to night. I’m addicted to drugs. I’m addicted to money. I’m addicted to fashion. I’m addicted to fame.” Sounds like the seven deadly sins of the night club.

Lastly there’s the Originals disc. These ten Oscar G mastered cuts stick heavily to the drum line endemic to the live mix work, but feature more complex vocals. “Your Love – featuring Tamara Wallace” offers up the dreamy romantic lyricism of Trance, and “Lost – featuring Chino” feels like the reincarnation of Bob Marley’s ghost. “Futro” might be the coolest cut here, recalling the free-form jazz that made Italian movies of the ’60s sound so cool. It’s beat heavy by jazz standards, but the opening riff just sings out “The future will be SO cool.”

Well, we’re square in the middle of the future right now and while it has its pluses and minuses, the act of creating coolness hasn’t changed much. Just look for a crowed space where everyone stands around worrying about sunglasses and hair dye and little designer name tags on their undies. But if you want to dance the night away, head for the losers’ club down the street. People are sweating and grooving, even if they all shop at Target.

Oscar G: http://www.nervousnyc.com

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