Unearthed and reintroduced to the world by Buh Records (with an assist from Angel Rada), Oksana Linde’s universe is verdant and alive on Aquatic and Other Worlds. Linde was born in Venezuela to Ukrainian parents and had an interest in music from an early age, though she always had her own way of doing things. Eventually, this led to an interest in electronic synthesis and the way varying techniques could open up infinite possibilities. After decades lost to the ether, Linde’s captivating work has been found.
Aquatic and Other Worlds is rich and teeming with life. Linde’s unique phrasing and methods of sonic exploration combine to transport listeners. The spaces her music creates and evolves within range from beguiling and jewel-toned to dark and aqueous. “Orinoco” opens with dramatic flourishes. Chord arrangements float across muted arpeggios, the glassine nature of the timbres shifting from bright to translucent and opaque. A misty shroud surrounds the lilting passages like a warm embrace sheltering us from difficult memories. Linde flows freely through the astral divide, pulling our heartstrings at every turn.
Pieces like “Mariposas Acuáticas” and “Nenufar” are inquisitive, playful. The former sculpts sonic sequences into joyous, effervescent travels that ride the edge between flitting away in the sky and diving into oceanic depths. Layers drift apart and intersect, all guided by Linde’s expert touch as she pulls the cosmic strings from afar. “Nenufar” echoes the moment right before answers are touched in gold and dropped into our mind’s eye, gifting us with clarity to see past all our ghosts. Crystalized melodies drip from dark, cavernous heavens like silver rain, and these glass-eyed tones are like quiet healing potions.
Oksana Linde’s story could have gone a thousand different ways, but this music resurfacing now is the universe’s attempt to make something right amid chaotic decay. This music is as current as ever, still rife with charm and deep emotion. In the sweet sonorous movements of album closer, “Ensueño,” it’s like a message in a bottle from Linde’s past self letting her, and all of us, know that it’s never too late to find our dreams even when they’re buried miles under the sea.
Aquatic and Other Worlds is foremost a gift from Oksana Linde to herself, but it is also for those who have ventured in unplanned directions; who feel disconnected from the aspirations of yesterday. We might stop, our lives on pause, but the path keeps spreading out before us searching for a horizon it can never reach. With a gentle push, like the shimmering arrangements of “Ensueño,” we can find our way back. The story may have changed and our dreams carry a different shadow into the distance, but magic forever remains.