Octo Octa - Resonant Body


Brooklyn-based DJ and producer Maya Bouldry-Morrison, better recognized as Octo Octa, follows her thrilling For Lovers EP from earlier this year with Resonant Body, her fourth studio album. Retreating from her urban environment to a cabin in New Hampshire in search of clarity and solitude, Resonant Body is without a doubt the most soul-affirming music Octo Octa has released. Through the avenues of acid and deep house, Bouldry-Morrison presents pertinent themes of inclusion, community, and inner peace.

Opening track “Imminent Spirit Arrival” is a fluttering, ethereal bending piece of ambient house with a superbly executed use of subtlety. Layers of synths and drum machines come and go seamlessly, successfully guiding the listener through peaks and valleys of its emotion packed journey. Octo Octa is patient, allowing the intro track to elapse 5 minutes before letting the track erupt with all of its elements in tact. “Move Your Body” is an absolute nu-disco stomper, the title phrase repeating as a commanding mission statement over violently stabbed keys and shimmering hi-hats.

“Spin Girl, Let’s Activate!,” the album’s lead single, toys with multiple tempo shifts. Maya Bouldry-Morrison lulls the track down to a slow, minimal beat before jerking it back with squelching synths and propulsive snares. On “Ecstatic Beat,” Maya experiments with the snappy breakbeats of jungle and drum n’ bass.

The 8-minute “Can You See Me” serves as the album’s centerpiece and thesis statement. The soulful vocal chant “I know exactly how you feel” signifies a feeling of togetherness with everyone on the dance floor, no one excluded regardless of background. Skittering drum machines and jubilant synths create an atmosphere of pure spiritual bliss.

Octo Octa showcases her diverse talents as a producer with the two more dreamy, ambient leaning cuts in “Deeper Connections” and “My Body is Powerful.” Both tracks have interesting ideas sprinkled out within, but both are also given a bit too much time to drift.

Resonant Body has many high points, but it doesn’t quite reach a game-changing mountain at any moment either. This is a solid, immensely enjoyable record that doesn’t quite feel like the grand, momentous statement Octo Octa is trying to make. Outside of the few key dance-floor winning anthems already mentioned, Resonant Body isn’t as demanding of repeat listens as I would hope it would be. Still, at its best, Resonant Body is a spiritually yearning dance record rich in detail and feeling.

 Grade: B