Rocket Science Records.
SCQ Rating: 76%
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that Dorian Duvall, mastermind of Onuinu, has an eclectic taste in music. Listening to Duvall’s debut Mirror Gazer can be likened to tangling oneself in several records sequenced to play and coexist perfectly. There’s no single root; instead Duvall pits R&B grooves against house beats, synth-heavy swells on top of hip hop beats. And although these distinct capacities risk getting mangled by Onuinu’s extroverted ambition, Mirror Gazer perseveres as an outlandishly fun forty minutes.
Distinguishing which tracks on this debut flirt with disaster varies by the supply of ideas and layers Duvall’s tossing at the wall. On the tracks where everything sticks, such as “A Step In the Right Direction” and “Last Word”, Onuinu wipes away the clutter in favour of prominent grooves that inspire an insatiable momentum. Other instances, like “Happy Home”, can require several listens to fully weed through, its various gears overwhelming what is, at its core, a good tune. And that’s the learning curve with Mirror Gazer: the compositional focus, while tight throughout, is occasionally masked by what sounds like a kitchen-sink approach. With time, the disc proves more fine-tuned than any slapdash technique with Onuinu ultimately holding the reins.