[Re-Introducing] – The Octopus Project

“Re-Introducing”? This is a new feature to fill a little niche on LBYB, bringing some more attention to artists that we thought would explode but haven’t quite yet, or just throwing the limelight on an act that hasn’t had any recent releases that we just love too damn much not to write about. The Octopus Project are one of those bands.

The Octopus Project are an electronic indie-rock group whose swirling, layered sound owes a serious debt to the work of minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Terry Riley. Their last album, “Hexadecagon”, was originally conceived as a live project: at SXSW in 2010, the album’s 8 songs were played in 8 speaker surround, with 8 projectors displaying videos synced up to the music. Imagine that. Pitchfork dismissed the recorded version, though, with these damning words: “Guess you just had to be there.” Now, I wish I had been there, sure. Even with only two speakers, though, I’m enjoying myself plenty right here, right now thanks.

Music that relies so heavily on loops as The Octopus Project’s dense material does is always going to sound a bit clinical. Even if it never sounds like the band is cutting loose playing these tracks, you sure will listening to them. The ever-increasing layers and constant crescendos that drive these songs forward are completely irresistable, never more so than on the utterly delicious “Fuguefat”, which makes 7/4 sound like the most danceable time signature in the world. At 3:37, it’s criminally short, but none of the other tracks on the album leave you hanging, with some even hitting the ten minute mark.

Aso totally worth checking out is The Octopus Project’s collaboration with Pensylvanian indie-poppers Black Moth Super Rainbow, which you can stream here, called “The House Of Apples And Eyeballs”. Firstly, that title and those band names make for some of the longest tags you’ll ever see on a music blog post. Secondly, it shows off the same sort of electronic, layered pop as “Hexadecagon” does, but in a much shorter form factor: the 15 track album comes in at only 36 minutes long. If you want an easy way in to The Octopus project, this is it.

Is this all old news to you? Well then you’ll be pleased to know that the band also has plans to release a new album in the first half of 2012, and we’ll definitely be reviewing it when it comes around. For now you can stream “Hexadecagon” below.

Connect with The Octopus Project: Facebook | Website | Last.fm