In the history of concerts in our country, one of the most remarkable and important that we remember with love and greatness is the excellent show offered by the US band THE OCEAN BLUE IN LIMA in the middle of 2006, not only of the huge success with a massive audience but a big surprise because a fantastic Indie group visited Lima for the first time at their best moment. Only two years ago the group announced their new EP “Waterworks” (2004) so we could enjoy the band at their real dimension, with a lot of airplay in the Indie radios of Lima in the nineteens thanks to hits like “Between Something Or Nothing” of their eponymous album of 1989, the incredible songs “Mercury” and “Ballerina Out Of Control”, both singles taken from the “Cerulean” LP (1991) and the gorgeous track “Sublime” from their third studio album “Beneath The Rhythm And Sound” (1993).
This means a new and important chapter, in the opposite side other bands came in the nineteens with nothing to offer, poor bands without the original members and also their frontman, older and rusted groups, a totally shame.
The concert of THE OCEAN BLUE IN LIMA represented one of the first shows like it has to be, opening doors to new bands in later years and showing the results actually where Lima is a great reference and a city to be considered by any band or musician around the world in their tour, a new era of concerts has begun.
AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE IN YACANA BEFORE THE OFFICIAL SHOW
When I hear the incredible music of THE OCEAN BLUE I always have in mind nice memories that I lived and also other people too. The day before the official concert there was a meet & greet with the band in YACANA CULTURAL BAR in the heart of Lima, a great reunion where I took photos and the band kindly signed all my personal record collection, but this wasn`t the best part `cause the group played a gig, very intimate, taking all the fans by storm !!!., really I was shocked, it was unexpected. We all were very happy with this amazing an unique experience, I was very close at only few meters from the group, nobody will forget that incredible night, it meant a previous gift of the official concert in Barranco, Lima.
The Ocean Blue – Vanity Fair (Bar Cultural Yacana)
AN UNFORGETTABLE MEMORY WAS THE UNEXPECTED SHOW OF THE OCEAN BLUE IN YACANA CULTURAL BAR THE DAY BEFORE THE CONCERT IN BARRANCO, LIMA. ONE OF THE SELECTED SONGS WAS “VANITY FAIR” FROM THEIR DEBUT ALBUM. (CREDITS: GUILLERMO MELGAREJO)
The official concert was realized celebrating the third anniversary of the YACANA CULTURAL BAR thanks to AUTOMATIC ENTERTAINMENT bringing us one of our favourite bands and how this terrific show still keeps our attention and the big satisfaction leaved. From here the underground scene started to grow in a solid and strong way with the later visits of ROBIN GUTHRIE, ASOBI SEKSU, MAHOGANY, AIRIEL, PROJECT SKYWARD, THE HOUSE OF LOVE, ELIKA, ULRICH SCHNAUSS, LOVELIESCRUSHING, THE RADIO DEPT., THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, etc.
I remember the show took place in a theater called “El Llonja” in Barranco, Lima (ex Rajatabla theater) there was a lot of people in the rows, the support group that open the concert was the wonderful Peruvian band RESPLANDOR, a great performance, then was the turn of THE OCEAN BLUE, an incredible presentation, the band played all of their great songs with huge energy an a direct connection with the crowd. How to forget their brilliant covers like “There`s A Light That Goes Out” from THE SMITHS, “Love Vigilantes” from NEW ORDER and the BILLY IDOL smash hit “Eyes Without A Face”, a present from the vocalist DAVID SCHELZEL and the band, surprising everyone !!!
A COMPLETE AND EXCELLENT DISCOGRAPHY
The discography of the band is very rich and diverse, their first album titled “The Ocean Blue” was recorded in 1989 and represents a wonderful palette of sounds, epic and funny, full of Pop melodies, in some cases fussioned with a Free-Jazz style adding the saxophone, a sensational debut, then the evolution continued with the extraordinary and atmospheric “Cerulean” (1991), more dense, nostalgic and melancholic, so many layers of sounds and abstract textures, without doubt one of those solid albums where all the songs belong to a distinctive style and are powerful singles reflecting many emotions, airy elements and great arrangements, influenced by the Dream-Pop and the Shoegaze scene, a true masterpiece. In 1993 THE OCEAN BLUE comes back with a brand new album called “Beneath The Rhythm And Sound” which captures the attention of the media and a massive radio airplay thanks to their single “Sublime” recalling the Pop sound of their first album, including again the sounds of the saxophone and combined with the Dreamy soundscapes of “Cerulean” creating a new piece of art without losing their identity.
Three years later the record stores saw the light of their next work in “See” (1996), another of their best albums, exploring a powerful sound with shimmering guitars, vigorous and loud, breaking all the rules of their previous albums, full of Pop energy. Also touches of Psychedelia and a Post-Punk vibe showing a new musical face, but keeping their innovative style. In the beginning of the new millenium appears their fifth album “David Jone`s Locker” (2001), a disc with a different point of view showing an awesome acoustic sensitive with a sixtees feeling, this album was mastered by the incredible DON PERIS, guitarrist of THE INNOCENCE MISSION, one of my favourite bands of all-time.
In 2004 the band recorded the EP “Waterworks”, one of the best releases of the band in their whole career that in fact is not a proper LP, but it should be a new album because is a well-crafted masterpiece and a revelation, another great change in their sound, very experimental with electronic sequences influenced by the Krautrock style …a gem !!!
Finally, after a very long time, they rock the Indie world with their announced new and big adventure called “Ultramarine”, I will talk a bit lately of this record in detail in the next chapters.
The band was born in Pennsylvania, USA and their actually members are: DAVID SCHELZEL, leading voice and guitars, BOBBY MITTAN in the bass, OED RONNE (guitars and keyboards) and in the drums PETER ANDERSON. The members of the first period were ROB MINNIG (drums and vocals) and STEVE LAU (keyboards and saxophone).
The groups that have influenced the band are: THE SMITHS/MORRISSEY, COCTEAU TWINS, LUSH, NEW ORDER, THE INNOCENCE MISSION, THE FIELD MICE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, SLOWDIVE, PALE SAINTS, ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, R.E.M., 10,000 MANIACS, THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, THE HOUSE OF LOVE, THE BEACH BOYS, HARMONIA, etc.
THE RETURN OF THE OCEAN BLUE: NEW ALBUM AND NEW CONCERT
The new album of THE OCEAN BLUE is ingeniously titled “Ultramarine” (2013) and it means a long-awaited return to the music world after their last LP “David Jone`s Locker” (2001), more than 10 years…a really awaited new album and a big effort, though in 2004 they edited the “Waterworks” EP, a huge step. “Ultramarine” is a genius and ambitious record conceived taking the roots of their second album “Cerulean” (1991), atmospheric and ethereal, with some elements of “Waterworks” and their previous records.
The new record goes deeper in the musical elaboration with melodic and nostalgic tunes, an experimental touch and thousands of sonic details approaching the new technologies, all the classic elements of the group are here and the most important thing is that fits perfectly in our new context of bands that are starting with several influences of groups of the past decades with their own vision. It´s truly amazing that THE OCEAN BLUE are reinventing themselves and have returned in an excellent way with a brand new album, so fresh and spontaneous, and it could be a great example for the new upcoming groups and the new generations of musicians and an excellent proposal, parallel or in the same way of other musical concepts that are emerging and recycling.
The experience lived 7 years ago comes back with another great notice: THE OCEAN BLUE played for the second time in our country last year, again we were part of another historic concert and for those people who can`t assist to the first show in 2006 had the chance to see them playing live and appreciate their talent in the stage and enjoy their Indie Rock flavor thanks again to AUTOMATIC ENTERTAINMENT.
It´s very important to mention the legendary band not only came to play their classic tunes of the ninetees and the 2000s but they return at their best form with a great activity and new sounds to present their latest odyssey called “Ultramarine” (2013), and this made an engaging concert, the new themes were played live for the first time the same year of the latest comeback of “Ultramarine”, an unsual detail.
THE JOURNEY ACROSS THE 13 NEW TRACKS
“Ultramarine” (2013) is composed by the next songs:
The trip begins with the shocking and inspiring “Give It A Try”, a song which drown us into the depths of “Ultramarine”, Oceanic Rock very familiar to the classic sound of the first albums, we are immersed in waves and tunnels of Noisy and Dreamy melodies with a lot of sonic details so elaborated, charming from the beginning to the end…
If this is not enough yet, the trip continues and we immerse more deeper with the glorious notes of “Sad Night, Where Is Morning?”, the first single from this marvellous album, extraordinary and nostalgic, one of my favourites, is this tune will be a classic from this decade?, again comes to our mind the first period of the band, an infinite sea of ethereal textures contained in the musical directions of today…the revival of Dream-Pop !!!.
The Ocean Blue- The Ocean Blue – Sad Night, Where Is Morning?
THE EMOTIVE THEME “SAD NIGHT, WHERE IS MORNING?, THE FIRST SINGLE FROM ”ULTRAMARINE”.
“New York 6 AM”: The first part introduce us to a sweet and calm acoustic ballad but immediately the track explodes with energetic guitars accompanied by uninterrupted drums, comes to my memory the best moments of the “See” album. The incredible combination of soft, strong and happy melodies convert this one in a seductive song.
The folky and optimistic “Blow My Mind” represents an enchanting and fantastic melody, another of my choices full of light and energy…really “blows our mind”, with too much power and joy, the photography of the video is awesome… a great addition is the “Fade-In, Fade-Out” effect near the end of the song that seems to disappear…a superb track, exquisite !!!.
The Ocean Blue – – “Blow My Mind”
A CUT FULL OF FANTASY IS “BLOW MY MIND”, AN OUTSTANDING VIDEO.
It´s very satisfying that THE OCEAN BLUE explore new territories without loosing their Indie essence demonstrating their habilities in this great cut titled “Latin Blues”, a very hipnotic and nice song and my favourite too. Feel the incessant percussion and tribal sounds translated, maybe, in new instruments like congas, cajones, charangos or spanish guitars, for sure influenced by our Peruvian culture…an emotive and celestial tune…
“Fast Forward Reverse”: what a title !!!. and taken from the first track of the “Waterworks” EP (2004) meaning an spectacular and instrumental intro, this time the band perform a new version to create an amazing song, one of the best moments of “Ultramarine” and very attractive, another of my favourite tunes, so experimental and perfectly elaborated…Neo-Shoegaze-Dream-Pop, innovative and elegant !!!.
The Ocean Blue en Lima 2013 – Fast Forward Reverse
A GREAT MOMENT PERFORMING LIVE THE WONDERFUL THEME “FAST FORWARD REVERSE”. (CREDITS: SPIRITWALKER DET)
We are closer to an Indie-Pop song, direct and jangly guitars are the trademark of “A Rose Is A Rose”, catchy rhytms far away from the Dreamy concepts. The Folk-Rock style with a sixtees vibe is the protagonist…and if we go too far this song could belong to a Country-Electro-Shoegaze style…very cool.
THE OCEAN BLUE show us one more time their art to create an excellent composition in “If You Don´t Know Why”, a very intense and romantic ballad…so pleasant and contemplative, the “Ultramarine” depths can`t be reached…a hundred of Dream-Pop melodies compose this gem…the theme rises from the reinterpretation of the “Cerulean” sound, very elaborated and inserted in this new decade…a highlight !!!.
We discover another ballad full of fantasy and charm called “Sunset-Moonrise”, it could be part of a movie soundtrack where the landscapes and the large planes of the photography are the center of attention…another tune extracted from the conceptual base of “Cerulean” with a new and actual musical direction…heavenly sounds !!!.
The Ocean Blue – Sunset-Moonrise (The Fabulous Baron Munchausen-1962)
“SUNSET-MOONRISE” HAS A CINEMATIC STYLE THAT FITS PERFECTLY WITH THIS EXTRACT OF THE EXCELLENT CZECH MOVIE CALLED “THE FABULOUS BARON MUNCHAUSEN”(1962). (CREDITS: JULIO ALEXANDR LIPA)
“Whatever You Say, It Breaks My Heart”, a single focussed in the acoustic beauty, warm and soft, it seems an “outtake” or a new theme which belongs to their third album “Beneath The Rhythm and Sound”, full of sound effects and for example the echo effect of David`s voice contributes to achieve an stand-out track.
Over and over the sensitive and optimism of the group capture us with the fabulous notes of “Ground Gives Way” to offer a calm and comfort place…another unforgettable theme which invite us to feel the oceanic rhythms and the sonic waves, to listen contemplating a beauty look of the sea in a sunny day…a delightful !!!
The Ocean Blue – “Ground Gives Way”
“GROUND GIVES WAY” IS A BRILLIANT COMPOSITION AND CREATES AND ANESTHETIC EFFECT.
Another particular cut is “Touch Down On Earth” creating a peaceful and spiritual ambient, if we can enjoy the previous song in a sunny day, this one means the opposite way, we can enjoy it in the middle of a clear and starry night…a delicious lullaby, belongs to a Neo-Dream-Pop and Experimental style.
The last song is called “Bleary Eyed”, it`s a bonus track that only appears in the Peruvian edition of “Ultramarine” under the AUTOMATIC ENTERTAINMENT label, that`s why is a must to get…a collector`s edition. In an exclusive interview the frontman DAVID SCHELZEL talked about this version. This track is absolutely wonderful with a strong feeling covered with the delicate notes of a piano, another of my selected cuts…an outstanding and awesome final !!!.
It`s so trascendental and relevant to mention the valious effort of AUTOMATIC ENTERTAINMENT for organize a new concert of THE OCEAN BLUE in Lima. It`s the best example for having an Indie and free spirit where the artistic value is more important than the commercial side. They have demonstrated this spirit before with the concerts of other bands and musicians from around the world, as I comment in the first part, like THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, THE HOUSE OF LOVE, ROBIN GUTHRIE, ULRICH SCHNAUSS, ELIKA, THE RADIO DEPT., etc.
Special thanks to my friends Antonio Zelada (AUTOMATIC ENTERTAINMENT) and Guillermo Melgarejo (YACANA CULTURAL BAR).[divider]
The Ocean Blue in Internet[divider]
Design, graphics and additional photos: Fernando Rivera Rodríguez.
Edition: Jorge Bazo Escudero