Kellen Malloy – “Ocotillo II (Nite Fell)”
This song is made up of two parts. If I had a say in the matter, it’d have infinite extensions. Kellen Malloy‘s career could just be one long, projected process, spilling out “Ocotillo” after “Ocotillo”. If it takes working under this song’s name to produce sounds of this craft, magnitude, and sheer force, it’s a no-brainer: Malloy should write half a thousand “Ocotillo”‘s.
As they exist, the two pieces overlap in some intentionally indescribable haze. Daunting and daring, the first piece has Malloy‘s voice acting as a distinct element, flickering into the foreground like some morse code that’s trying to say something crucial, in amongst the fog. The second piece spells out its message loud and clear. Terrifying and distinct, strange looping synths, like something out of a place of worship in the future, set the tone. Bass notes hit the walls, and Malloy‘s voice barely utters a single recognisable word in amongst the furore.
There’s a time and a place for this sort of music. You’re not afraid of anything. In fact you’re probably feeling less afraid than ever. But you choose a particular kind of music just to awaken you, to send you out of comfort and into another perspective. Fever Ray‘s “If I Had A Heart” tends to fill this space. Its throbbing bass growl tames its listening beast and makes you fear again. “Ocotillo Pt. II (Nite Fell)” is the same. The clouds gather and the nite does indeed fall. You’re sitting there, nigh on waiting for some stranger’s hand to land on your shoulder.
It’s a listening experience like few others. And for it to emerge from an artist as new to our ears as this LA individual is thrilling.