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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Norway

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Řyvind Owane Pedersen - Born May 27, 1993 (Sortland, Norway)

OWANE is the artist moniker for musician Oyvind 'Owane' PEDERSEN. Oyvind started out as DJ Owane with most of his online exposure related to electronic dance music among other projects, but under project OWANE PEDERSEN goes through what he calls discovery of his inner jazz mentality. With the help of his music producer and recording engineer Josef 7, he released 3 records up to 2018.

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OWANE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
4.00 | 11 ratings
Yeah Whatever

OWANE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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3.00 | 1 ratings
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OWANE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Yeah Whatever by OWANE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 11 ratings

Yeah Whatever
Owane Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by rogerthat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Owane is the project of Owane Pederson, a musician with a rather interesting background that can only be a product of the times we live in. Having worked earlier as a DJ, he is now "discovering his inner jazz mentality". From seemingly the cutting edge of music, he has veered to its old school side. Perhaps, though, he doesn't see the distinction (and neither do I). The idea that prog or fusion represented music whose time had passed was perpetrated largely by those in the press used to documenting ephemeral music trends. The continued survival of prog has put paid to such notions. Its quest for meaning and purpose (not in a literary sense but in a musical sense, of wanting to make a work of music that means something or aspires to) is not its weakness but its strength and by dint of its ambition, retains its allure for talented and virtuosic musicians. And of Owane's virtuosity, there can be no doubt.

My first exposure to his work was the track Rock Is Too Heavy. Within minutes, I was dazzled by his playing and had to check out the rest. At first brush, he evoked Guthrie Govan circa the Erotic Cakes album. But upon closer listening, I found the music was actually very stop-start with lots of sudden twists and turns. Without his fluid, smooth playing, without him simply cruising through complicated passages of music, it would sound more like Spastic Ink (which is NOT to say Ron Jarzombek is not an amazing guitarist himself). Instead, his incredible fretwork combines with bouncing and dancing basslines (played by himself) and footloose yet restrained work at the drums by Maciej Dzik to create music that tends more towards the playful and vibrant in a way that belies its complexity.

For while Owane makes no bones about working with a genre whose heyday was many decades in the past, he doesn't restrict himself to the introduction-solo-duel-unison pattern that many fusion artists stuck to in the 70s. As said above for Rock Is Too Heavy, in the album per se he avoids getting stuck in a groove, however infectious that groove might be. The music snakes its way through many twists and turns and can take some effort to get into, more than you'd think given the genre. At times, the pay off may even appear to be inadequate, purely as far as the writing goes. Born in Space and Groove of Satan really don't do very much at all for me, for instance.

However, the sheer effortless vibrancy with which he and Dzik (with Josef on saxophone) perform the music makes it engaging even when the licks by themselves don't grab you by the collar. A good example of this is Love Juice which is almost standard jazz-funk, very reminiscent of 80s band Incognito. But the way they perform Love Juice is as far removed from the cool vibe of Incognito as can be. They hit you with tons of energy. And finesse. This isn't just a testosterone fueled vent of sound, of fury for fury's sake. They etch out the groove so well you can almost feel the bass and drums dancing feline-like to it. Owane commands your attention with, I repeat myself, the sheer dazzling virtuosity he offers. He reminds you of why back in the late 70s Eddie Van Halen caught everyone's attention in rock (or Randy Rhoads a few years later). Indeed why prog and fusion were so popular in the late 60s and 70s. Virtuosity at its best is so much more than a musician showing off how fast he or she can play. When virtuosity finds an appropriate and appealing context, it can be awe-inspiring and breath-taking.

That quality forgives much even when the quality of the writing sags at times and even though none of the other tracks, good as they are, quite scale the heights of Rock Is Too Heavy. The production doesn't hurt either. Crystal clear and with a deep (as opposed to loud) drum sound, just the way I like it. Oh, and a very audible bass too. The production goes a long way towards giving a very 'live' feeling to an album that simply could not have been recorded in a single take (seeing as Owane himself plays guitar, bass AND keyboard!). 'Tis a strange phenomenon indeed. One finds wonderful, even marvellous production, on albums such as these or the efforts of Iamthemorning or Bent Knee. But in the mainstream, it's as far as the loudness wars never ended. Is there something big studios spend on besides polishing turds these days?

Back to this here album, the writing isn't strong enough to merit a five but I will gladly give a four. Three and half if it were only for the writing but the performing elevates the tracks considerably.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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