Octo Octa’s Res­o­nant Body’ cap­tures the bliss­ful sen­sa­tions of the dancefloor

Review: The DJ/producer’s new album goes hard for the dancefloor, but soothes the soul in the process.

Label: T4T LUV NRG

Rat­ing: 45

Back in July, as the sun start­ed to dip on the final evening at Germany’s Melt Fes­ti­val, I arrived at the site to find a notice­ably tired crowd and a jad­ed atmos­phere. But then came Octo Octa with her blend of euphor­ic house and breaks. Her pos­i­tive ener­gy radi­at­ed from the DJ booth as she danced with aban­don, and it didn’t take long for the dance­floor to burst back into life. 

Octo Octa’s show is kinet­ic, feel good, cathar­tic. Move your body to the sound”, goes a vocal loop on the sec­ond track of her new album, Res­o­nant Body. Octo Octa wants you to con­nect with her music on a phys­i­cal and spir­i­tu­al lev­el. And when the music’s this wel­com­ing, it encour­ages you to tune into her ele­vat­ed frame of mind.

With a discog­ra­phy that acts as an intense­ly per­son­al mem­oir, Octo Octa, real name Maya Bouldry-Mor­ri­son, is no stranger to bar­ing her soul through her music. But where her last two albums, her 2013 debut Between Two Selves and 2017’s Where Are We Going?, pro­vid­ed an out­let for heal­ing dur­ing the peri­od of her tran­si­tion, Res­o­nant Body arguably marks Octo Octa’s most joy­ful and dance­floor-focused out­put to date. 

Record­ed in Decem­ber 2018 after a hec­tic year of tour­ing, there’s no doubt that Octo Octa’s DJing (her Res­i­dent Advi­sor pro­file cur­rent­ly counts upwards of 60 shows in 2019) has had an impact on her sound. Club bangers, here we go!” she said in a recent inter­view with The Face. Much of Res­o­nant Body is a retro-tinged throw­back to a gold­en era of rave, yet it feels vibrant and fresh. Take the fiery acid licks of open­er Immi­nent Spir­it Arrival or the explo­sive ener­gy of jun­gle-lean­ing cut Ecsta­t­ic Beat. Thump­ing house bangers come cour­tesy of the album’s lead sin­gle Spin Girl, Let’s Acti­vate! and tri­umphant clos­er Pow­er To The Peo­ple. A sweet sense of ecsta­sy is felt with the fuzzy vocal sam­ple of Can You See Me? that says, I know exact­ly how you feel”.

Aside from the busy move­ment of the club, Res­o­nant Body also takes inspi­ra­tion from the more tran­quil land­scapes that sur­round Bouldry-Morrison’s home, a cab­in in New Hamp­shire that she shares with her part­ners Brooke and Eris Drew. And nowhere does nature’s influ­ence shine brighter than in My Body Is Pow­er­ful, a warm, atmos­pher­ic inter­lude towards the end of the album in which bird­song soars and ambi­ent synths rip­ple like waves.

Her beau­ti­ful songs are infused with love, con­vic­tion, mag­ic and joy,” says Eris Drew about the record, You can feel the nature around her as she wrote it and the pow­er of the body res­onat­ing with it.” In the art­work, designed by Brooke (they also designed the cov­er of the For Lovers EP, released ear­li­er this year), Bouldry-Mor­ri­son is depict­ed sur­round­ed by nature. She sits naked on a rock in the midst of a serene land­scape of water, trees and bright­ly coloured flow­ers. Brooke’s palette is bold, rich and warm, just like the themes of Res­o­nant Body – love, pow­er and togetherness. 

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