Subterranean Landscapes is Chris Otchy’s third album and first release on Constellation Tatsu. A vivid exploration of the natural world, the album weaves together a tapestry of serene synth compositions juxtaposed with denser, more industrial material that stops just short of techno.
The album was inspired by 1960s-era National Geographic maps of the ocean floor. An avid sailor and diver, Otchy here attempts to fuse the quiet beauty of those two dimensional depictions with the violence and power that the ocean possesses in real life. Otchy makes deft use of modular synths, pairing their analog output with field recordings, textured noise, and deeply processed guitar. The result by turns takes on the whimsy of Mouse on Mars, the psychedelia of early Tangerine Dream, and the melodic, stony groove of Campfire Headphase-era Boards of Canada. Both “Out of Reach” and “Driftwood Collage” use looped guitar lines to strike emotionally resonant chords, and might sit comfortably on albums by Rafael Anton Irisarri or Windy & Carl.
Otchy’s musical career began as a member of the eletropop band Soviet, whose upbeat sensibilities
distinguished them amid the more nihilistic sounds that popularized the Electroclash genre in the early
2000s. He played synth on numerous bills with Soviet alongside luminaries such as Adult., Fischerspooner, Chicks on Speed and Stereo Total. When Soviet disbanded in 2005, he abandoned music completely, moving to Southeast Asia and establishing himself as a journalist. Years later, inspired by the prevalence of a new generation of technology, he dove back into music to recreate the worlds he perceives through the prism of his experience.