O – numero O (Antenna)

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O make determinedly anonymous music. There are apparently no existing photographs of them and they claim to be part of the French “no-audience’ underground. This does not mean the music is without personality, Numero O is the expression of this duo’ idiosyncratic and very personal vision. The bulk of this album is made up of acoustic fumblings peppered with random, jarring bursts of white-hot electricity. You could be forgiven for thinking that it is all too scattershot, but there is there is beauty and imagination to the randomness that O create that means they are not easily dismissible. There is little in the way of subtlety or tonal complexity to tempt deep listeners. O aim for an almost stone-age musical primitivism despite the electricity that courses through their work. They wield their instruments like blunt weapons, noises dart in and out with little regard for context or build up. “De La Mancha!’ sounds like Einstürzende Neubauten unplugged and stripped of any vestiges of rhythm or melody. “Pi Desert’s echoes the late Derek Bailey’ stop/start harmonic-heavy guitar style to create an atmosphere rich with primal tension. O have claimed that they will cease to exist after this record. In a way that makes sense, it is difficult to imagine a more eloquent yet raucous distillation of their aesthetic than Numero O.

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