Oto Hiax


aec.edme234.1 1/27/17 New

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    Oto Hiax Editions Mego

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Review Text Seefeel's Mark Clifford and Scott Douglas Gordon (who records eerie, fractured bass music as Loops Haunt) first collaborated under the moniker Oto Hiax in 2011. While their debut EP One occasionally slipped into abrasive, scattered beats similar to Clifford's long-dormant solo alias Disjecta, the duo's self-titled debut full-length (issued by Peter Rehberg's Editions Mego in 2017) is more abstract, constructing dark drones covered with thick, fuzzy static and incorporating currents of clattering percussion rather than solid, upfront rhythms. "Eses Mitre" features sharp yet soothing waves of distortion easily recalling Clifford's shoegaze roots, but it's surrounded by sub-bass explosions and loads of metallic, clanging noises. Although highly chaotic and unsettling, the duo seem very amused by the bizarre sounds they're conjuring and smashing together, and that joy is palpable. "Flist" features squirmy synth melodies trickling over a hypnotic, panned pulse, while distant crashing noises attempt to disrupt or distract the proceedings. "Creeks" is significantly more relaxed, with shimmering feedback and reverberating bass creating a rough but relaxing sonic cushion. The album's second half gets significantly darker, with more downcast melodies surrounded by shuddering, rumbling noises on pieces like "Thruft." "Lowlan" is even more alienated, with lonely, distraught feedback screeches shivering in space while being attacked by drilling and scraping sounds. "Hak" is much more gleeful, however, trapping a few notes inside a glitch loop and eventually accelerating to a shredded finale. Oto Hiax isn't the easiest listen, but its free-form explorations are spirited, and anyone who can recognize the joy in messy, chaotic experimentation should be able to appreciate the album. ~ Paul Simpson

Track Listing

Record: 1

  1. 1. Insh
  2. 2. Flist
  3. 3. Dhull
  4. 4. Eses Mitre
  5. 5. Creeks
  6. 6. Bearing & Writhe
  7. 7. Littics
  8. 8. Thruft
  9. 9. Lowlan
  10. 10. Hak
  11. 11. Hok
  12. 12. Loyal Odes

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