As a musical act, Xeno & Oaklander (Sean McBride and Liz Wendelbo)
conflate a rich love of analog synths, melody, and mythology with
eloquent nuance and a nod to the heritage they draw from. While that
construct is the duo's immediate kiss and crush, there's a deeper
importance to their collaboration which began in 2004. As evidenced in
their debut Vigils (2004), McBride and Wendelbo's artistic dynamic is
more than just a mutual love for electronics but a contrast between
architectural precision and painterly expression. From the film scores to
the traditional albums they've recorded in their Brooklyn studio, they've
both spurred and fostered the global synth wave revival through a
commitment to analog-only production and performance as well as a
strident respect for the medium.
On their latest album Hypnos and first for the Dais imprint, the duo
leveraged the talents of visual artist and live sound engineer Egan Frantz
to mix the album. It's a touch that adds both punch and balance, allowing
their inherent conceptual voices to converge into a collage with defined
edges and warm, synapses of frequency and beat.
''Musically, Hypnos is a return to polyphony after several years of using
strictly monophonic synthesizers,'' McBride says about the album's ethos.
''This has brought dense harmonies and a more complex counterpoint to
the composition. Staying with the same equipment and processes
without the inveterate compulsion to update and refashion allows for a
clearly perceivable genealogy with our previous work.''
''I felt the desire to tell mythical stories, I also wanted my voice to sit
strongly in the mix,'' Wendelbo explains. ''I channeled the spirits of 60s
French Pop chanteuse Francoise Hardy and 80s New Wave New York icon
Tina Weymouth.'' Her intentions are best evidenced on the tracks
''Angelique,'' and ''Insomnia,'' the former a spry track sung in French,
against a springy rhythm. Laden with expanding and contrasting
frequency and a penchant for strategic rhythm, Hypnos juxtaposes dance
with distance, creating an immersive oeuvre that exudes contrast and
? Sixth studio album explores French Pop, polyphonic production.
? Touring NA in April
? For Fans of: Boy Harsher, Martial Canterel, ADULT., Absolute
Body Control, Chris & Cosey