Nearly 3000 years ago Homer wrote about the first true Odyssey. To summarise; after dicking around with a giant wooden horse, Odysseus thought it'd be a good idea to take his sweet time sailing home and turning a pleasant 3 week boat trip into a 10 year fantastical adventure with reverse-mermaids, a particularly ornery cyclops, cannibals, and a basket of weird fruit.
Oddz Odyssey is absolutely nothing like this. This is a strong positive as I don't have to spend the next 2 months struggling through a poorly translated novel. Instead I can breeze through Oddz' 18 minute odyssey with relative ease, absorbing his witty and real approach to being an artist in today's modern world. While Oddz' EP doesn't shatter boundaries or genre- conventions, it presents a very honest, down to earth narrative of the struggle of pursuing what you love.
But first, some background on Oddz McFable. Hailing from the glorious citadel of Melbourne, Oddz has shaped his debut body of work around his past creative pursuits and failed explorations of success. Oddz' debut EP boasts some very impressive lyricism, wit, slick synth-based production, and an artist moniker which simultaneously makes me think of grand mythical adventures and 3am Oreo McFlurries.
On reflection perhaps drawing a comparison between Oddz Odyssey to Homer's isn't the best idea. The fact is the highlight of this EP for me was the soaring synths and crisp production, something more akin to Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey than Odysseus' poorly organized canoe trip. It's in this juxtaposition between the futuristic warped production and the relatable lyrics that the listener will find the most unique aspects of this EP. In Oddz' own words:
"When producing this EP, I wanted to bring listeners something different that they have not heard before. I aimed to push my own boundaries and create a piece of music that stands alone in Australia's saturated Hip Hop landscape. I feel I've been successful in that".
While I am not qualified to confirm or deny Oddz' claim, I can say that this is not a half assed attempt at a bedroom produced EP. This is a professional, studio quality piece of work that Australian Hiphopheads should find something likeable in.
When I sit down with a vocal heavy album, my main focus is obviously with the vocals. This time however I couldn't keep my ears off the smooth, textural production throughout the entire EP. At times I even found myself feeling like Kubrick's Apes staring at the monolith in confusion, anger and wonder.
Breaking Eggs and Pusher exemplify this best, using unique textures, space and rhythm to compliment Oddz' vocals, instead of overshadowing them (a cardinal sin in the hip-hop bible). Seeing this focus on texture and atmosphere is a rare sight in the Australian Hip-Hop genre and, as someone who's had to ease myself into the genre like a fat kid into a cold swimming pool, it was a much appreciated breath of fresh air.
The odyssey is a unique human experience. Whether it's through music, lyricism, love, mysterious alien obelisks or giant wooden horses, everyone is moving through their own spiritual adventure with their own trials and tribulations. In this reviewer's opinion it seems like Oddz just wants to help improve your journey's soundtrack.
Oddz Odyssey is now availbale for pre-orders before it's official release on March 2.