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White Noise: oOoOO - oOoOO EP

Saturday, 14 May 2011

oOoOO - oOoOO EP

Label: Tri Angle

oOoOO is a pretty secretive guy. From his ungooglable name (and song titles; a new cut he debuted at FACT magazine was called 'Сирин') to his unwillingness to reveal much about himself as an artist, we can tell he likes a good bit of mystery. This is completely reflected in his music which more than stands up for itself; this is an EP bursting with an atmosphere equal parts dark, hazy, and sensual.

The thing that really makes this album stand out from the Witch House crowd is its pure substance. This is deeply textured, intricate music and repeated listens really do open it up even further. The most accessible track on the EP is probably Hearts, which betrays an almost disco-like sensibility chopped up and buried under thick gothic dub, and the closest thing to a clear hook you're going to find in the collection. Yet it is these gauzy layers of synths and slightly off-kilter beats that make these tracks so evocative.

Second track Sedsumting throbs into existence with samples and synths that are unsettling but remarkably melodic; there's a clear sexual undertone to his music as the deep bass and echo effects strain against a searing string-like synth that pierces through the thick mesh. Opener Mumbai is also a highlight, with haunting moaning vocals that glide over its faltering beats.

This is deep, dark music that neither relents nor becomes in the slightest bit dull, every track has a new variation on his thick, syrupy sound. At the close of another standout track, Burnout Eyess, his mysterious female vocalist (known only as 'Miss Lisa') intones 'I wanna stay just like this', and perhaps this is where the EP is in a sense lacking. Although his sound is undeniably rich, there isn't enough variation on display here to suggest that he has much room to move within this style. And with the apparent departure of Miss Lisa, I'm left wondering exactly what direction he's going to take from here, because an album of material like this wouldn't quite hold up. However in the context of his genre this isn't particularly shocking, he doesn't quite show the range of subtleties of someone like Balam Acab but nor does he put a foot wrong like Salem's horrific faux-rap tracks. Either way, I will definitely be tuning in to find out what he does come up with in a new release, because this EP shows enough talent to be worth watching.


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