Oxykitten is Justin Case of Portland Oregon. Justin has a lot of synths and an ear for a tune. Across the eleven tracks of this cassette-only release, there are traces of Vangelis, Jarre and even, at a push, The Advisory Circle. If you like analogue-y synths too, then you won’t be surprised by what you hear but you will dig this.
Larry Wish (also on cassette-only) is (confusingly) Adam Werven of Minnesota. Adam does a nice line in wonky hauntology. At points I was reminded of the nursery-rhyme murky soundscaping of The Residents instrumentals. The sound sources are broader, darker and odder than Oxykitten. It’s a very mood-specific listen, ideally soundtracking a sleep-over at David Lynch’s. Take it with you if you’re ever babysitting.
The final release is from Jay Winebrenner, (also a resident of Portland) recording under the moniker of Lips & Ribs. Jay is the 8-bit “I’ve just fallen into a Capcom game” frenetic-beats approach, although he manages to throw in some horns (Into Your Uniform) to upset the balance. The longest track is just over 3 minutes. Concise and punchy.
Field Hymns are to be applauded for giving these talents a chance to shine and it will be interesting to see what each of these artists do next. Is there a future in the synth-pastichery of the past? Also, what do they put in the water in Portland? I thought that show was meant to be a joke…