oOoOO Our Loving is Hurting Us EP
Sometimes, the best way to weather a storm is to hunker down and wait it out. The rise of the so-called "witch house" genre in 2010 certainly created a storm of sorts, one made of naysayers and bandwagoners all fighting over the validity of gothy, rap-influenced electronic music made primarily by white youngsters. San Francisco's oOoOO was practically at the heart of the storm (likely due in part to his strange moniker and affiliations with the shadowy Disaro and Tri Angle imprints), but he never seemed like a real proponent of the sound. Christopher Greenspan was just making the kind of pop music he'd always wanted to hear, no matter what name people gave it. It's been two years since oOoOO released his self-titled EP, an enticingly murky statement peppered with moments of distinct clarity, and the "conversation" surrounding his style of music has all but dwindled away. With the Our Loving is Hurting Us EP, Greenspan takes the opportunity to reassert himself under clear skies, and presents a far more refined version of his sound across the record's five tracks.
What's noticeable first and foremost on Our Loving is the heightened production quality. The heavy-footed beat of opener "Try Try" booms and clanks with a pristine metallic resonance, and amongst the smattering of warped voices and stuttered rhythms on the lurching "Starr" rises an anthemic guitar solo, which somehow shifts from unnerving to poignant by the end of the song. "Break Yr Heart"'s crystal-clear 808 drum pattern pairs with a sullen, auto-tuned vocal and hosts of phantasmic synth tones to help make what is quite possibly oOoOO's best track yet. It's a slow-grooving tune that sounds something like one of The-Dream's slow jams if it were chopped and screwed by Burial—complete with all of the top-notch, nuanced sound design that would go into such a production.
Another major highlight from the EP is "Springs." On it, Greenspan seems to be pushing his sound further from its origins—trying out a flat, vintage tone on the percussion and exhibiting his newly honed pop structures. The results are reminiscent of Virigin Suicides / 10,000 Hz Legend-era Air, despite its dark aura and the bumping kicks and grumbling bassline underneath it all. Butterclock—who contributes her voice to portions of Our Loving, including lead single and enchanting closer "NoWayBack"—gives "Springs" just enough ghostly soul and feminine allure amongst the ominous arrangement. And when the strings rise into the mix as the song comes to a perfectly timed close, it's readily apparent that oOoOO's patience and time spent growing as a producer and a songwriter has paid off tremendously.
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