It dawned on me that I’ve been jamming to oOoOOO’s tunes for a few years now when I read that this is his first full length LP. It is true, too, in that all of his previous material was on short EPs or loose tracks from Soundcloud or remixes, etc. oOoOOO already feels like an artist I’ve known about forever and here were are on his first full length. Also, let’s get this out of the way:
Srsly-WHY does every1 wanna no HOW to pronounce it? Why is every1 so uncomfortable w ambiguity?
— oOoOO (@oOoOOsounds) June 13, 2013
Sounds good to me!
So a few years back there was this new genre of music floating around called “witchouse” and oOoOO, a solo venture by Chris Dexter, was one of those curious artists that emerged from that little spike of internet momentum. The term “witch house” itself has somewhat fallen out of fashionable use and was outmoded probably within a year from the first time I heard it. It is fair to say that oOoOO has since moved past this niche, though his sound still exists in a sort of lo-fi paradigm. The down-tempo hip-hop beats are still present, but it has lost a fair amount of that New Wave and old school Gothic feeling that some of the older material had. Those elements haven’t disappeared, they’re simply more tame and put into better context.
None of this is a criticism, it is nice to see an artist find his own spot in the musical world. “Without Your Love” is oOoOO really putting forward what separates his music from the pack. It is a true evolution in sound, too, as the airy mystery and ghostly sensuality of oOoOO’s previous work is still very much present on “Without Your Love”. Yes, this music still evokes a lot of loneliness and longing. I can’t even put this in the same bracket as Portishead, it is even softer, gentler, more intimate. oOoOO’s “Without Your Love” is probably best summarized in that way: soft, gentle, and very intimate.
Not to suggest that this album doesn’t have some punch, the tracks are fairly dynamic, ranging from really tranquil moments to bass heavy dance tracks, but even at its most hard edged moment the music is still airy and mysterious. I’m long done thinking of oOoOO as some lingering relic from that brief period where “witch house” was a buzz word. This album is fresh, unique and I hope it is another step in Dexter’s ongoing musical evolution.