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And then everything went black, at least for a while, at least for The Mars Volta. In the months and years following their fifth full-length, Octahedron, Omar kept on at his usual fearsome creative pace. In fact, he ramped up his output considerably, starting up his own Rodriguez Lopez Productions label and releasing a slew of solo albums. It was a practice he'd begun shortly after De-Loused's release, with his solo debut A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One, but as the decade reached it's close, Omar grew to rely upon his solo recordings as an outlet for his prolific creativity, these albums often exploring musical pastures far beyond even The Mars Volta's wide-ranging parameters. Before choosing to release music under his own name, Omar would always play it to Cedric first, to see if the frontman thought it had potential to become Mars Volta music. Shortly after Octahedron's completion, Cedric flagged one batch of tracks Omar had cut with Deantoni Parks, a brilliant drummer and composer who'd briefly occupied the Mars Volta drumstool in-between Jon Theodore and Thomas Pridgen's tenures, and whose volcanic creativity and unique, unpredictable approach to rhythm and composition had quickly made him one of Omar's favourite artistic foils.
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