Olivier Raimond aka Oxia.... or aka the godfather of French techno releases his...
Jack Smith 2004
The debut album of the godfather of French techno Olivier Raimond could be regarded as a diary of a day in the in life of a regular techno club goer.
Opening with a little introduction, the appropriately named "Premiere Heure" we immediately feel something akin to nervous anticipation as the sinister sounds unfold and you realise that things are about to get nasty!
The main story gets underway with the robotic "Le Temps" - a masterly piece of acid house improvisation that resembles the classic French synth-style of Didier Marouani and his Space project.
Oxia artfully uses his French connection to present us with his vision of a funkier side of techno. However, on the plus side "24 Heures" it's not only about the French school and its influences. Throughout the album we come across Kraftwerk-esque vocoded vocals ("Never Forget"), text-book Detroit ("TNN"), pure techno at the infancy of the movement ("6 for 1") and beautifully arranged Cerrone-style "Flashback"- a tribute to Olivier Raimond's idols from the late seventies, who, in his own words, gave him a magical moment of discovery which had happened at their 1978 gig in the Cote d'Azur. It was there and then when Raimond realised what he wanted to follow in music.
Another positive aspect is that Olivier Raimond quite energetically and audaciously chooses to add something fresh and new to a genre that is difficult to be both innovative and creative.
As the album plays out we can feel how Olivier Raimond tries to marry his maverick style with classic traditions of the genre. You could almost divide the contents of the album between the floorfillers and music that should be listened in the comfort of your own home. To create a techno album that you can listen to from start to finish with out feeling the need for a change somewhere between tracks 8 and 10 is quite an achievement in this day and age. Yet "24 Heures" is presented and taken as whole unit.
Together with Agoria's "Blossom" this is the second French release this year that could appeal to a wider circle of fans, far wider than the boundaries of techno itself.
Reviewed by Oleg Racz