‘Into Exo: A Review of Oz’s New Sub-label’ by Brandon Myers

Mother May I, by Junior McLeanThe owner of Ozymandias has just gone over the edge of the horizon, and we love it. With OzymExo, he’s taken his well-established outlandish obscurantism and gotten rid of the landish. OE’s virgin catalog is pure weird candy for the unhinged and the mutated. I promise you — heavy rotation at Bebe Monster and Monkey Bar.

Someone once said, “Tuning a mellotherium doesn’t.” Well, listening to what OE’s offering up doesn’t. Take OZM(exo)020: Origin unknown. Species unknown. Just an artifact (“Vessel with Biotic Interior [Possibly Analog]”) floating through Pavonian space a few centuries ago that had “an Interior Communicative Organ Beeping and Whistling” (as the subliner helpfully clarifies). The “organ” makes non-repetitive, arhythmic beeps, squonks, and hoots for about three minutes. In the background, various hummings and swellings are punctuated by raspy clankings and crescendoes.

Intelligent? What’s the criteria? Music? As I was listening to this track, I imagined an alien “listening” to our industrial exhaust pipes churning out “music” via radiation signatures and asking a similar question. He might deduce our intelligence correctly, but be totally wrong in reasoning the purpose of these byproducts. For the same reason, I wondered if this semi-vivified soundmaker weren’t a “vent” of some kind. The Rosetta Sphincter.

The most accessible offering (for those of you who like that sort of thing) is probably something from Chara called “Making My Machines Sexually Attractive.” The dimorphic Charians apparently get it on like we do, and this heavy, four-beat track could come across as industrial bump and grind if you were on the right substance.

Then there’s something from the Repellent Hexapeds (around here we call them the Browns — because they’re brown and that’s about all we know about ‘em). Oz’s media inlay, courtesy of the Monj’s attempt at wresting a narrative from the Pavonian library, talks about a “gx-y gridded script system that uses spectral depth and density like we use adverbs. Direct translation should be as smooth as decoding the Burgess Shale on Pluto without the benefit of evolutionary theory.” Their “Symphonic Proposal (Inflammable/Segments Revolting)” (tr. courtesy the Pavonians) is actually great listening. Like a Twentieth Century field recording of a rain forest, this track features erratic crescendoes, damp hootings, flutings that die off, and ambient sounds that give lush three-dimensionality. But there’s undeniably great craft behind this track. While any kind of recognizable tonal valency is out the window, I could feel concepts behind those pulses of air. Aural forms seemed to be assembled and disassembled in some unfathomably passionate way. It made me think of Bach.

Not for everyone. Hardly for anyone. But for those of us mad and disaffected exoempathizers, this is the catalog we’ve had fantasies about.

— PJ

P.S. Next month, Oz will be in residence every Thursday night with Orbitrary Fellers at Loo. *

About the Author: Brandon Myers is an editor by day and musician by night. He lives across the street from Lake Michigan on Chicago’s far north side. He has two basses, a kora, guitar and keyboard, amps, recording gear, assorted stompboxes and artifacts, and a picture of Sun Ra in his living room.
(c) 2007 Brandon Myers 78bng6uij9y4@earthlink.net

About the Artist: Junior McLean is formally from the Bronx, New York City area; for 10 years he has studied basic website design and also began performing graphic/digital designs for clubs and event flyers in a few locations. He still strives to be the best at what he can achieve.
(c) 2007 Junior McLean http://lordfreeza.deviantart.com/store/

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