22 Jun 2021

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Junus Orca - EP Review: One Arm Pack

29 Mar 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton

Junus Orca’s debut EP, One Arm Pack, is a collection of four dark, ethereal, glacial, and emotive soundscapes. A quick bit of searching identifies Junus Orca to be the alias of Josh Holmes, Christchurch DJ, producer, experimentalist, sonic innovator, and member of Your Indigo.

Opening track Posh Homes is an interesting study in the differences between speed and feeling. The underlying industrial-inspired rhythm runs at a breakneck pace, yet the overall feel of Posh Homes is not one of panic. Instead, Junus Orca manages to somehow harness the rhythm, but only just. It feels like the song will get away from him at any point, leaving the listener on the edge of their seat, but it always remains just in control. It is a fascinating approach, and one that commands attention throughout the 5-minute run time.

Second track, One Arm Pack is a bizarre, schizophrenic piece. It simultaneously retains the signature sound already established by Posh Homes and presents an increased level of melody and restraint. Where Posh Homes feels like it is constantly on the edge of collapse, One Arm Pack instead is coolly collected. It also experiments further with the three dimensionality of sound, care of some impressive mixing and panning. Lesser artists have tried similar tricks and found them disorienting, but this is expertly done. Instead of disorientating, Junus Orca creates a wider sonic landscape.

Track three, Mostly Foot continues in a similar vein to One Arm Pack. Sounding closer to some of Trent Reznor’s soundtrack work, Mostly Foot (as per the title) allows the kick drum to take centre-stage. It is this kick drum that holds everything together, as a myriad of electronic noises and beats rumble throughout the track. It is difficult to explain the gestalt of Mostly Foot as it is a bizarre door that we have opened, and it takes a number listens for the world behind that door to make sense.

The Nairn Ménage, completes the journey through this EP. It begins as a sparser affair than any of the other tracks, relying on a massive bass to propel the track. However, it quickly becomes heavily layered with sound, some of which echo of nightmares. It also shows the strongest move towards noise experimentation – with an outro that relies of heavily processed pure waves of sound.

Overall, this is a fascinating EP. It is not for the faint of heart and it is not going to find favour with people searching for easy listening tracks or bubble-gum pop. It can be a challenging listen, but one that ultimately rewards the listener with a fresh, experimental approach to music. This one is for those of you searching for something new, dark, monolithic, and unashamedly experimental.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Junus Orca

After playing and touring NZ under numerous aliases, the artist began forging a new path as Junus Orca late 2018, experimenting with a darker sound. Since then he has been perfecting his craft, honing in on a sound that reflects the uncertainty and power of the fault lines we live upon in New Zealand

Junus Orca is about to release debut EP One Arm Pack on 13/03/2020. The EP presents four powerful tracks elaborating on a sound that online music and youth culture magazine happymag.tv has previously referred to as ‘innovative and exciting’.

With a string of releases planned for 2020, hopefully you'll be hearing a lot more of the name Junus Orca.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Junus Orca


One Arm Pack
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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