This aptly titled collection of refreshing electronica from newcomer Bernard Farley, a.k.a. Outputmessage, alternates between dreamy and malevolent soundscapes without getting bogged down in typical bedroom producer punctilios. But the warm exuberance of his breakout appearance, “Bernard’s Song” on the Ghostly International compilation Idol Tryouts, contrasts starkly with the paranoia on the Oneiros EP.
The ambient washes and crunchy beat manipulations of “Tossing + Turning” are like waking after a restless night to find yourself munching on some crusty gravel that replaced your cherished Fruit Loops. “Depression Cycle” continues the mood with a menacing demeanor, all monster-movie soundtrack thrills and demented knife fighters wrangling for dominance.
But Outputmessage knows the sun always rises again: After the stormy intro, the hip-hop break-beat and lazy bass line of “Switch” feels like a stroll through the barrio on a day where all feuds and b-boy posturing is laid to rest, swapped for chillin’ with 40s on the grass. Fowley’s penchant for crafting hyperactive and detail-oriented tunes that never diverge into desultory noodling is a welcome change from the ever-expanding field of sound-a-like laptop gurus.