oOoOO at Strange Matter, Dark Sounds Abound
I went to Strange Matter last Tuesday night expecting a mellow night of hard and heavy bass. Not the wom-wom of dub step, but the steady, roll-over-your-face beats of a solid chill-wave/witch house show – something a little stoned, but cohesive enough to tap my feet. But the toe-tapping turned to head-banging and while oOoOO played a determined set that met expectations, local acts MUTWAWA and Negative Gemini made big impacts on the Strange Matter crowd.
oOoOO, a San Francisco chill-wave DJ, reached early success due to his mixes going viral on Soundcloud and other audio sharing services. He practices the ancient art of slowing popular songs down and adding massive bass drops to it. But seriously, there is an art to this brand of bro-dub, and oOoOO is a master at it. Have a listen via the widget below.
oOoOO on stage
His Strange Matter show was intense, and the beats were solid. I had spent some time familiarizing myself with his tunes the night before and I was curious how the show would be presented live. A touring DJ that works small clubs is going to struggle with their presentation anyway – I’m sure there is an effort for a stage presence, but once you start interacting with the audience, you have to step away from your tables and “just press play.” This play-pressing plagues most modern DJs and, in my opinion, makes for a weak show. Sadly, oOoOO slid into this format a bit much for my taste. The tunes were good and the beats were quality, There were slight deviations from his released track, but most beats came in went like an album, when a solid 50 mins of beats could have probably gotten booties shake’n.
I’d still tell anyone and everyone to check oOoOO out – especially as chill-wave goes – but at this level, and at this point in his career, his live show left me wanting more.
Beyond the headliner, 2 local acts – MUTWAWA and Negative Gemini – absolutely blew me away.
Negative Gemini (featured image) is Lindsey French, the female member of Les La Britanica, a witch house/dirty south rap trio that rocked Richmond’s show scene for sometime. Now on her own, French has fractured into a powerfully dark voice reminiscent of GRIMES and Crystal Castles. Lots of haunting drones, punched up bass, and haunting melodies that are stuck in my head to this day. Hear her below, it’ll reverb your pants off.
MUTWAWA off stage
MUTWAWA is a hodgepodge of already awesome RVA talent – Gary Stevens of Head Molt and Jason Hodges from Suppression and Bermuda Triangles. All of those bands have their own unique sounds, but the steady thread of being brutal and experimental connects the bands. MUTWAWA is no exception to this rule. Programmed synth noises, live pad-drumming, a massive permed hair cut, and finding yourself moshing – things you should come to expect from a MUTWAWA shows. A heavy dark-electronic sound sprinkled with some feed-back noise bleats kept the audience on edge and bouncing for their shows duration. I enjoyed the show so much I went on to their Bandcamp and bought one of their other albums. Take a listen to them below.
I think I have a new favorite Richmond Band.
Tim is a writer, video game nerd, and music fan. You'll see him at shows, or you wont really see him at all.
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