NVDES – Mind Body Soul Music

Urgent and frenetic, ‘Mind Body Soul Music’ by NVDES strikes with a type of style and energy often missing in the dance music of today. The first sound is an alarm assaulting sleepy silence, a moment captured in the track’s corresponding music video – Flockey Ocscor sits up straight in bed donning a red t-shirt and grabs for a Stereoptic-Eye, a device that allows 2-D objects to be seen in three dimensions. The rectangular viewing gadget possesses a kaleidoscopic wonder in all its retro glory.

NVDES, aka Josh Ocean, first hit a wide audience in January of 2018, when the song ‘D.Y.T (Do Your Thing)’, ft. REMMI, was featured in an Apple iPhone X commercial. There are few things more modern than an Apple ad to deliver you into the waiting hands of a major audience for the first time, but it’s also a way that feels of the previous age. Network shows with their three blocks of advertisements per thirty minutes is all but gone, replaced by the present’s need for instant satisfaction. ‘Mind Body Soul Music’ wastes no time delivering.

Previously, Ocean was part of an 80s-inspired pop duo called Ghost Beach. But in his new solo project, NVDES has stepped forward into the 90s in his search for inspiration. The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers are immediately apparent in ‘Mind Body Soul Music’, a song that harkens back to the big beat era’s highest highs.

On the track, soul vocals mix with heavy breakbeats and heartbeats are cranked to visibly shaking the rib cage. This type of dance music simply doesn’t exist anymore. It’s been replaced with anthemic stadium giants that attempt to create the feeling of a singular collective emotion – generally togetherness. ‘Mind Body Soul Music’, however, is about the individual. It’s joy expressed through the singular experience and expression of self, which might be the most shared human act.

In the corresponding clip, Ocscor dances in a yellow jumpsuit around what seems like a 1970s highway-adjacent motel. There is no reason for the dance, it’s simply the only thing the character can do in the moment, “Liberated from the cage of his own ego, [Ocscor] slides through a series of moments, riding the wave of pure, limitless energy, dancing in the multiple realities of Vibe City Utah,” reads an explainer from the artist.

All of this gives the song a preternatural self-assurance. It knows its roots and it willingly reaches back, grabbing what it wants and feeling free to nod at its influences on the way. Ocean doesn’t present himself as someone who simply stumbled over big beat, rather, he knows its origins and uses them to put some urgency into his modern creation.

Each part of ‘Mind Body Soul Music’ is a step forward for NVDES, but also a nod back. And it’s the unworried weaving of elements that give the track its timeless feel, but also its urgency. It knows where it has come from and it knows how to move forward.



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