Just who is Oeoyvwxia The name is nearly impossible to pronounce (correctly at least), and no one really seems to have a finger on the pulse of his intentions, origins, process or general aesthetic. Does he exist or is the brand of avant-garde strange-house dance pop all just some sound mistake in the matrix? These odd and perplexing questions might come to mind if you’re not familiar with low-profile artists that gimmick toward mystery. I’m a fan myself and this album is just weird enough to pique my attention. But I quickly learned to tread lightly because there are plenty of sonic surprises and off-putting elements lurking around every corner.
It was one year ago in April that Oeoyvwxia emerged from a portal and delivered his musical message in the debut Abyss. It gained an immense amount of popularity in an extremely short amount of time, making him a Bandcamp celebrity in about a week. But fame made no difference to him and he recluded back into the shell of some unknown vortex. Now he's back on the scene with a sophomore release Mauretania that walks the line of house music and trance. At this point, people were curious enough to learn more about the resurgence of such an esoteric artist. Turns out he lives in California. And to that I say, fine choice sir.
So where to begin? Might as well take it from the top with “bum.” Stellar warping beat of sound effects and classic club clap was a welcome experience after the crescendo of chaos that was “Vig-vil-vol.” It became clear to me early on that this album was about atmosphere and minimalism, but it’s genius because so many interpretations are created. Imagination is fed through every wave of non-descript sound. One minute you’re grooving to a quick break beat and the next your face is scrunched with confusion. Or is it entrancement?
“(NO)” is almost like Baroque dance music. I hear digitalized harpsichord and embellishments that even Haydn would have to bounce to. It’s another of the few structured songs that pans out in a loose fashion, but at least more conventional than constant looping, skipping, dynamic lunacy or left field sound blasts that you’ll find sprinkled throughout Mauretania. Last words on the album – One of a kind.
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