When I spoke to electronic artist André Obin last week, he was so fast and methodical in providing me with information about his music that I knew I had to try and stump him.
on Friday, April 6th, Obin dropped his latest release "Valencia"/"A Star As Torn." A 7-inch in 2012 is a pretty specialized format choice, and if it says one thing about an artist it is that they feel pretty serious about the music. This is the first 7-inch is Obin's impressive discography (he also plays in Endless Wave); and is also his first release from Boston-based Vanya Records, whose other releases include Bearstronaut and the New Highway Hymnal.
It's hard to cast much doubt that Obin isn't serious about his music. "Valencia" and "A Star As Torn" show two different sides of the very much the same coin.
First the B-side--"A Star Is Torn" harps on the listener with a Halloween-esque spooky-synth, jilted against a considerably faster drum beat. Whispered/filtered voice-overs add to the overall ominous mood. Obin then takes the song through an interlude that, while expected in the overall context of a somewhat grimy electronic-dance piece, pulls the off-tempo synths into a much greater focus. This leaves Obin with about a minute to bring it all back together and drive you, and the song home. No goodnight kiss.
The A-side "Valencia" takes the mood of "A Star Is Torn" and fleshes it out with a spartan though infectious chord-progression; straight from a bubbling cauldron of synth-arpeggios. A crisp but neutral bass/snare pattern with a snap-and-clap back-beat create a sturdy backdrop for desperate mantra-like pleas from Obin that "I am Valencia" and that "You make no sense." What does it all mean? That's all part of the the fun; going into that dark rhythmic space with nothing but a simple mantra evocative of Spanish orange trees blossoming is some midnight grotto.
All in all a fun single despite the eerie mood. Solid production, deft song-crafting, and oodles of style. More things like this please. And now, an unusually fun Q&A with the unusually fun and spontaneous André Obin.
Inbound Sounds: What do German's think of James Bond movies?
Obin: I think Falco explains it all:
Inbound Sounds: Wouldn't music based in 5's make more sense for primates?
Obin: I've played in odd times before and 5/4 is very comfortable. I hope to revisit different time signatures someday. Right now I'm addicted to 4/4. Technology has definitely infiltrated my senses and I'm fairly ok with that.
Inbound Sounds: Tips for a perfect homemade marinara?
Obin: I love sweet sauce. Espresso pizza in Fitchburg, MA is one my favorite pizza places in MA (along with Regina's in the North End). Espresso has this really sweet sauce and it's rumored that they flavor it with orange soda. Divine whatever it is. At home in my apartment I make a mean vegetable pasta with whole grain angel hair, chopped zucchini and summer squash mixed into the tomato sauce.
Next area performance:
(w/ Bootblacks, Japanese Monster)
Friday, April 27, 2012
55 Bishop Allen Dr, Cambridge, MA
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About the authorJonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »
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