oOoOO & Islamiq Grrrls + Nothing.Existed. + Masal

oOoOO & Islamiq Grrrls + Nothing.Existed. + Masal

19th September 2018


Berlin-based producers Islamiq Grrrls and oOoOO (Chris Dexter Greenspan) never intended to make an album together. Initially, they were simply contributing parts to one another’s tracks (Islamiq Grrrls provided vocals in return for oOoOO’s guitar work). Naturally, each brought pieces of their own distinct production style to the other’s songs. After a while, the two separate threads of songs began to gel, resulting in an uninterrupted 50 minutes worth of vibrant music the pair decided to release as their new joint effort, Faminine Mystique.

At first blush, Faminine Mystique appears to slot into a well-established tradition where R&B, dance, and ambient music all merge within a blend of electronic and live instrumentation. It’s tempting to tag the album’s haunted, downtempo sound as a contemporary extension of ‘90s trip-hop. But on closer inspection, the duo draw from an unorthodox range of ingredients: Auto-Tuned vocals, smooth-jazz saxophone, ‘80s hair metal guitar, fusion-esque ARP synthesizers, and specific influences like Brazilian bossa nova giant Antônio Carlos Jobim, jazz guitarist Barney Kessel (a member of the iconic Wrecking Crew session collective of the ’60s and ’70s), and even Milli Vanilli—elements Islamiq Grrrls and oOoOO describe as “lost, forgotten, or discredited artists and genres from the 20th century.”

“In the past,” says oOoOO, “I’ve always been really wary of doing anything backwards-looking or nostalgic. But I’ve loved so much music from the 20th century that I’d always wanted to use some. I wanted to add guitar or jazz elements without sounding like I was making rock or jazz. I hope those elements don’t sound ironic or like we think they’re funny.”

They don’t sound that way. Compare oOoOO’s languid, nylon-string bossa nova guitar on “Feeling Feelings” to, say, Seu Jorge strumming David Bowie covers in Wes Anderson’s A Life Aquatic, and it’s as if the two styles don’t even exist in the same universe. And when oOoOO switches to metallic amplified leads in the same song, his licks are flashy but still reflect the forlorn disposition of the song. Similarly, on “The Stranger,” oOoOO plays abbreviated, tight-lipped lead licks but then lets loose on the ARP. Again, the mood is about as far from campy excess as music can get, and Faminine Mystique contains dozens of examples of sounds that take on new life where they might have seemed dated and even slightly absurd in their original time and place.

oOoOO (pronounced "oh") is a witch house/chillwave project created by Christopher Dexter Greenspan, currently based in San Francisco. Along with White Ring and Salem, oOoOO is often recognized as a pioneer of the Witch house sound. oOoOO's debut release was on Houston-based Disaro Records in January 2010, where he released a six-track CD-R encompassing his then-released work. The CD-R was limited to 100 copies, each with different artwork made by Greenspan himself. In the spring of 2010, tracks "No Shore" and "Cold" were also contributed for a 4-artist compilation cassette on Bathetic Records. oOoOO also contributed the track "Seaww" to a 7" split single with White Ring on Sweden's Emotion Records. oOoOO also contributed a remix of the Lindsay Lohan song "I Live For The Day" to the Lindsay Lohan tribute mixtape Let Me Shine for You, which was released on Tri Angle Records in 2010. His debut EP was released on 12" vinyl on Tri Angle Records in October 2010, and Tri Angle has confirmed future plans for an album. oOoOO's second EP Our Loving is Hurting Us was released on April 10, 2012 via Tri Angle. oOoOO's debut LP, Without Your Love, was released on June 24, 2013 via Nihjgt Feelings - a new label based in Turkey, co-founded by Dexter himself.

Supports...

NOTHING.EXISTED
Colchester based gothgaze project exploring themes of industrial violence and urban decay. Debut album due out later this year on Peruvian label In Club Records.

Masal
Masal is a collaboration between Al Johnson and Ozlem Simsek. Ozlem is a Turkish multi instrumentalist whose middle eastern background is entwined with her western studies in classical music. Al performs psychedelic electronic music as Alien. As Masal they weave harp, Theremin and electronics into a beautiful aural journeys.

Tickets £8 /£7 concessions.
Doors open 7.30pm.
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