I assume that, like many others, I was drawn to Oliver’s music with the release of 2014’s “Light Years Away.” Though this was not the duo’s first track by any means, it was probably the one that catapulted them into the limelight they experience today.
Vaughn Oliver and Oliver “Oligee” Goldstein, known together as Oliver, were drawn together in 2010 by a shared love of production, vinyl, vintage music gear, and modern art and design. In the past 7 years, they’ve weaved their way through the house genre and festivals alike, cementing their presence as some of the foremost experts in their sound. Now, with the release of their debut album Full Circle out today, fans finally have a chance to hear what Oliver is really all about.
The album brings back their classic sound, commitment to aesthetic and technical skill that earned them the respect of their peers and a legion of die-hard fans that have been eager for their return. The 15-track collection evokes the glamour, attitude and timelessness of music from ’70s & ’80s but with a forward-thinking modernity. The duo tapped a talented group of collaborators as well, including iconic hip-hop trio De La Soul, funk masterminds Chromeo (whose influence can be heard throughout the album), Sam Sparro, MNDR, Elohim, Yelle, Leon Else and Scott Mellis.
The album begins with the one minute cinematic prelude, “Portrait,” followed by “Ottomatic,” somewhat of an extended prelude with more electro and French influence. Following that, the album brings forth four of its strongest collaborations in a row, with MNDR on “Chemicals,” Leon Else on “Love Like This,” Sam Sparro on “Last Forever” and finally, De La Soul on “Heart Attack.” If you were to listen to no other tracks on the album – which we 100% recommend you listen to all of it – these four tracks would give you the best idea of the album’s sound.
Still, there’s so much more to discover. MNDR returns again on “Falling Back,” a slow-burning ballad with beautiful French sound arrangement and instrumentation. This song begins another 5-track pack of collaborations, containing hits from Chromeo, rising star Elohim, Scott Mellis and the inimitable Yelle.
“Heterotopia,” with Yelle, in particular, espouses the laid back French vibe of the album. It’s almost hedonistic in its rhythm, slowly and melodically dragging you in with devilishly harmonious sounds. It’s one of the most perfect songs on the album.
The final song on the album, “Full Circle,” is a bit self-prophesizing, as it serves as an outro and a reminder that the album is finally over – it has come full circle.