ALBUM REVIEW: Otti Albietz “And The Voices”

On May 21, 2014 by Tim Newman

Otti Albietz - BBE

Otti Albietz‘s music, for those who have not been made aware of his noises, is an audio hug with penguin. That description might not help you make sense of him initially but I’ll explain a little later.

Otti Albietz - And The Voices cover

Albietz is a Sussex based singer/song writer, And The Voices is his third album, rolling through the ashes of his previous two expulsions One (2011) and Bubbytone II (2013). Released by BBE records, a good time bunch. Born in Spain, Albietz wandered about Europe finally settling in the wilds of England 5 years ago. Before getting his solo project on the road he performed with a number of outfits, some more mental than others. I had the pleasure of resting my eyes and ears upon him as he performed with the band Unicorndad vrs Robodad – what’s not to like about that band name? Hey? Nothing, that’s what.

Otti Albietz -Kave Gallery

Since Albietz’s unicorn days he’s dug through the soil of his mind and produced some truly lovely stuff. And The Voices starts with the track It’s Nice To Feel Alive, a sentiment which I occasionally agree with. It’s a beautiful number, which in my opinion has an obvious warmth, but there’s still a chill in the air: i.e. hugging a penguin. It’s full, but sparse. See what you think:



And The Voices certainly feels coherent as a record but that doesn’t mean it’s monotonous or samey by any stretch of the imagination. The track What Is It lurches delicately from a semi-lounge sound to a vengeful Elvis Costello. I’m not sure how Albietz would feel about that description but it’s meant with kindness. At some points there is sorrow, but mostly it feels warm and on occasion he even stretches to maddened rage. That’s the trick, he manages to pull things together into his own special tapestry.

Otti Albietz - Its Nice To Feel Alive

The instruments on the record were all played live over just a couple of days; most of what you’ll hear is the first take, and they never bothered doing more than four. If it felt right they used it. That’s how music used to be, that’s how music should be if you ask me. And without wanting to sound like a plum, I think the honesty in the performance shines through. I’m sure there’s many a frayed edge if you were to listen with a microscope, but it’s the frays that maketh the man and all that.

Otti Albietz - band

Albietz is joined on his musical meanderings by James Gulliver on drums and backing vocals, Thad Skews on bass, Darren Morris, playing synth and co-producing and his long time lady friend Anna Graebe on BVs.

Here’s another one to put in your pipes – Becoming Close. The video was only released a week or so ago and has a pretty fresh hypnotic swagger about it:



So… in conclusion: you can take the man out of the unicorn, but if the man is filled with unicorns they will always shine through between the bars.





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