Nocturnal Omissions has shown the world his ability to create engaging, moving instrumental tracks in several albums leading up “Transientalism.” See how it fits into his overall discography by checking out the album below:
Originally recorded in 2018, mixed in 2019, and remastered for rerelease in 2020, “Transientalism” is an amalgamation of recordings and ideas from various countries, digital workstations, dreams, and possibly nightmares. Dealing with the personal trauma of work, relationships, a constant travel schedule, and overall mental health unraveling into a downward spiral, the album served as an obsession to keep Nocturnal Omissions’ brainchild Vallen Daniels going when everything seemed lost. Although the album was marred by overt challenges and obstacles to overcome, they were perhaps necessary in order to keep the man behind the music alive.
This doesn’t mean the music itself is a hodgepodge of inconsistent muses. Far from it. The traction of the album flows from one interesting groove to another, continuing the rocking instrumentals mixed with electronic elements found in previous albums such as “Ascendant Sea.” The songs here explore music at its pure core, from melodious compositions to appealing arrangements. Nothing is too over the top or out of place for shock value, nor is anything bland or uninspired. “Transientalism” is about being dependable and offering what we came here looking for.
The opening track is “A Calling” and features lush and lively instruments as if a full band was in the recording booth. Nice vocal overlays add to the majesty of the track as noteworthy guitar stylings and symphonic backdrops add a classic feel to the overall chill vibe. “Fashion Week in Paris” sounds like dance music made for a dazzling runway show. The beat will have you nodding your head but there’s still a dash of mystery to the synth. The mid-song breakdown makes you feel like the spotlight is on you and it’s time to move to the sensual beat. The first half is more open and optimistic, while the second half is more intimate and vivacious. The song keeps transforming, leading into the rollicking jungle beat to close things off.
“Cross Checking” is epic and will have you raising your flag, ready to barge straight into enemy lines. A very passionate blend of pounding drums, stirring strings, and oriental-inspired imagery. It’s a standout track due to how different it is.
Songs like “Takeoff” and “Outreach” are light, expressive and all about fun. Synth leads take a hold of the reins as standout basslines get you off your feet to dance. There are many textures that fill the space between the notes in these groovy numbers. “In the Air” experiments with off-key electronics to provide an ethereal soundscape to get lost in. The song conjures up feels of getting stuck inside a hallucination filled with synthesizers, scratchy guitars, and endless possibilities.
The latter half of the album is filled with solid undertakings that complement each other neatly. “Waiting” is a hip, modern banger doused in synth-wave waters. “International Lounge” includes rolling drums accompanied by funky guitars. “Gate Closing” is the soundtrack to a midnight freeway getaway scene. It transitions into a breakdown with a room-filling big bass presence and nature-inspired percussion. These songs all have their own identity yet sound better when played in sequence.
Overall, it’s hard-hitting to imagine these uplifting songs came from a creator pondering whether his life was soon to be over at the time. The album is a testament that through resiliency, hard work, and deep diving into the creative crevices of the mind, a work of art can be ironed out and fully imagined. Whenever you’re feeling down, play “Transientalism” to get lifted back up.