The intriguing beginnings of Nocturnal Omissions are being brought into the spotlight with the release of “Organized Chaos (20/25 Anniversary Edition: 1997-2002),” a collection of two early EPs that show off how this wide-ranging artist first discovered his sound. Check out disc 1 below:
“Organized Chaos” combines the 1997 EP “ShatteredTearz” and the 2002 EP “Rhythmic Anomaly” together to celebrate the 25th anniversary and 20th-anniversary of their release, respectively. Diving into Nocturnal Omissions’ past allows fans to hear the natural evolution of sounds, ideas, and skills that have developed since the AOL file sharing, Livejournal, and Geocities days, which is how the original EPs were released. The songs were made using music tracker formats that utilize self-recorded samples, making for unique sounding results.
The opening track “Dreams of Death” opens with eerie, haunting experimental tones with a beat that slowly ingrains itself into the song. Guitar riffs swarm in an estranged matter, consuming the listener’s ears. The track is a snapshot of Nocturnal Omissions exploring his digital instrument and bending it into his will. “Enema to the Masses” follows suit and is a sampler’s dream come true. Listening to these tracks is like unearthing the early days of independent electronic music-making, at least before more contemporary tools became available. You can hear the rawness of it all without it being smoothed out like much music has over the decades.
“Molten Java” features tons of melodic keys and synths that drench the song from top to bottom as a groovy Moog keyboard bassline keeps everything working together. The setting for the track wouldn’t be out of place at a dark wave dance party full of strobe lights flickering and smoke machines hissing. “Inner Thoughts” expands the variation of dynamics on the album with a rocking drum beat and heavy, sinister keys that sound like you’re escaping from something ferocious into space. Though there are no lyrics, each song tells a story with mood, pacing, and structure. For example, “Inner Thoughts” ends with creepy and unsettling synths, letting us know we did not manage to escape in time.
“Never Ending Strife” features a quick tempo and synthesizer keys that are more hopeful sounding than the previous tracks. The song keeps evolving and you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next, a common theme throughout the album. Now take an ecliptic goulash of synthetic ingredients and blend them together to create a soundscape worthy of being in a Matrix-style movie, and you’d be left with “Torrent Fire in her Eyes.” The intensity here is constant as sound samples oscillate against swathes of white noise entrapments.
“ShatteredTearz” is ultimately a look into a human mind coexisting with a digital music-making machine. The genre is electronic, but the heart and soul remain in the creativity and melodies. The songs formed a foundation from which to build upon and the fruits of this EP’s labor are seen in Nocturnal Omissions’ later work. The atmosphere shifts from light to mysterious, but the beat remains upbeat. Overall, this EP would function well for people trying to find inspiration to create their own art and have this play in the background to find their muse. A worthy listen, and a strong debut.
Disc 2 is the 2002 “Rhythmic Anomaly,” which was recorded mostly using the same techniques as the prior EP. “Doctrine of Lies” bridges the synth melodies into a dance kick and clap beat. They make you feel like you’re at a rave as you sway with the electro waves that intertwine to the rhythm of your body. “Kick It” is all about kick drums. Fast, pounding, flashing smoke balls of confetti burst into your ear canals. Just two tracks in and it seems Nocturnal Omissions has a firmer grasp on his toolset to form something more defined than before. The title track “Organized Chaos” features arpeggiate synths and vocal samples that add new textures. The title perfectly captures the content of the song. The beat is organized and consistently upbeat while the synths are chaotic and trying to break through into another dimension.
“Tears of Fire” continues the dark wave vibes in a mellow way while “Insomniac’s Racing Thoughts” is tense and atmospheric. “Acceptance” is a disco flare song pushed along by a pounding beat. All three tracks here present interesting ideas that could have been further explored. Still, the creativity continues to flow out of his mechanical pores.
A return to the kicks on “Kicked It” shows the strong influence of the pagan drum circle it was inspired by. This is a song made for a seizure headbang party. The drum work is fantastic here and it carries over into the following track “The Awakening.” Unrestrained yet ambient, these songs come from the underground to form nice snippets of what could be dancefloor staple tracks. They are fast tempo and illicit curious emotions.
“Tripdustrial” is a more nuanced take on a drumming instrumental. More advanced sampling techniques are shown off here. Halfway through, jets of synths troops come parachuting in. It’s a good song to chill to, while “Torrent Fire in Her Eyes” comes around again with a new vengeance to remind us of the intensity and menacing synths from before. “WTF” draws similarities from other songs while also being distinct on its own, being both beautiful and peculiar.
Overall, there are a lot of sides to this anniversary album that requires more than one listen to fully grasp it all. The result is an artist discovering what could be achieved in the studio by unleashing all the chaos that exists in the mind. These two EPs laid the groundwork for Nocturnal Omissions for future musical endeavors and seeing the blueprints for what followed was truly a treat. This collection encapsulates what a trip down memory lane is supposed to feel like. The atmosphere, sampling techniques, and stellar experimentation are what you’ll find when listening to “Organized Chaos.”
Nocturnal Omissions celebrates the past with this release but is also working on new music for the future. To stay up to date with all things going on in the world of Nocturnal Omissions, check out his Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify and official website.