Chicago-based artist Brian Berglund – currently releasing music as Oceans of Being – is a true one-man-band working in the electronic space. Aside from performing, he also acts as his own composer and producer on his releases. His newest project is a twelve-track album titled The Reaper. Pulling influence from the likes of Tangerine Dream, Synergy, and Vangelis, this project is a great introduction to Berglund’s production style and artistic preference in the immersive electronic music world.
And notably, 50% of all profits from the sale of this album will go to the EFCA ReachGlobal Ukrainian Refugee Response Fund.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Opening with the title track, The Reaper makes it clear that Berglund has an impressive handle on creating complex soundscapes. The instrumentation is full of textural layers and builds nicely from a subdued start into a moderate peak, moving the track along with intention, but not too quickly. There’s a touch of melancholy and occasional dissonance, creating moments of tension and eerieness that perhaps eludes to the title.
Alien Lullaby indeed lives up to its name as well, delivering a cosmic atmosphere that seems to be built on a pulsing, unsettling rhythm. The unconventional structure choices here make the track curiously unpredictable – it progresses almost like a living thing, twisting and sliding along without ever quite knowing where it’s going next.
Black Hole is a remarkably interesting inclusion on this project. At just 33 seconds long, the bar is no doubt set low for any storytelling ability from this track. But instead, it delivers a menacing, dark, and foreboding moment that paints a crystal clear image of the title – and it does it with sound alone, and in less than a minute.
There’s a melodic-forward moment of warmth in Astraea’s Dance. The bright synths and simplistic rhythms give this track segments of pop-like accessibility, making it easy to listen to and follow along with as we travel through a collection of these bright, digestible passages.
We also love Acrux as an early showcase for the gentler, brighter side of Berglund’s production abilities, as well as Soothing Nature for serving as a relaxing earthly moment that grounds the listener amidst this otherworldly sonic landscape.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Towards the conclusion of this project, we find Thru Any Storm. With lyrics and vocals provided by Ukrainian artist Liliia Kysil, Berglund has created a perfectly uplifting and inspiring arrangement to accompany her hopeful message.
“We will get through any storm
Chain of suffering is torn
Will lead us to the success”
Kysil’s vocals are clear and powerful, and the surrounding instrumentation is a soft yet insistent complement. It’s an excellent inclusion on the album, especially seeing as 50% of the profits will go directly to support Ukrainian refugees during this terrible and tumultuous period.
Fans of dynamic electronic music will find that the work of Oceans of Being will resonate with them. On The Reaper, Brian Berglund firmly roots himself in his own artistic direction, defying traditional expectations and creating intricate, illustrious electronic compositions that create clear imagery and feeling – often without uttering a single word. Stream this imaginative and truly original album for yourself below.
BELOW: Listen to The Reaper and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Oceans of Being by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!