Monolith

by o.lamm

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about

Olivier Lamm, aka Odot, aka O.Lamm, has too many ideas and too many names. The 27-year-old glitch-pop experimentalist shares his European record label and broad-minded view of pop with Shugo Tokumaru, but the Frenchman's recordings are more frenetic and electronic-based than those of his Japanese peer (who has only mellowed since 2004 breakthrough Night Piece). On third proper full-length Monolith, released in the U.S. by Portland's Audio Dregs, O.Lamm overextends himself even further-- but more like a slinky than a bungee cord, so hooray no bloodshed.

It'd probably only be video game bloodshed, anyway. Monolith Mario-Paints laptop breakbeats, J-pop bleeps, and, somewhere, a Gameboy version of a Melvins riff into a delightfully seizure-inducing fantasy. The princess is in this castle, starting with Lullatone's Yoshimi Tomida on kaleidoscopic do-re-mi opener "La Chasse Aux Oiseaux". The real prize, however, is "Open Malice", featuring Paris trio Konki Duet's Zoe Wolf sounding beguilingly listless on a bass-heavy track that's brainy/zany enough for a dream collab between Cornelius and the Blow. "Genius Boy" casts another Konki Duet-er, Kumi Okamoto, in a Hypercolor aural cartoon. Oh, and Momus raps-- spitting words like "malarkey" darkly on ominous cut-and-paste "Syllabus of Errors".

O.Lamm mixes in some organic sounds, too. Sampled strings and disembodied vocal snippets drive the electro-funk plot of "The Macguffin". The wife of the computer voice from "Fitter Happier" gives way to trebly acoustic guitar on "Silviphoebia", while music-box chimes and spaced-out synths help mask a melody that's awkardly like "Good King Wenceslas". Sometimes O.Lamm follows his whims too far, as on "Electric Emily", an allusion to a William Vollmann story with yipping samples and murky percussion that irritate more than they exhilarate.

Since O.Lamm's whole deal is pixie stick-fueled excess-- jerky beats moving onto the next idea without ever quite settling into an easy groove-- his occasional excess excesses are pretty easily forgiveable. But I still can't help drooling over what he'd sound like if forced to work within more conventionally song-oriented limits, as he does here on "Open Malice" or on first YouTube video "Aerialist", which strings together enough vocal snippets to nearly resemble conventional verses. Monolith ends with a succession of voices, each asking, "Julie, what's the matter?" Dudes, this time I have no idea.

— Marc Hogan, February 8, 2007, www.pitchfork.com

credits

released October 11, 2006

You should know, this was all written, done and redone, crafted and recrafted by Odot at Tire Slashers between February 2004 and June 2006, except Open Malice written by Odot and Zoé Wolf ; Syllabus of Errors, lyrics written by Nick Currie, and Silviphobia, lyrics written by Mirodi Hirano. Additional mix on Genius Boy and Open Malice by Emiliano Flores.

You should also know, it was made and played by Odot with : La Chasse aux oiseaux vocals by Yoshimi Tomida, additional backing vocals by Zoé Wolf ; Genius Boy vocals performed by Kumi Okamoto, guitar by Makoto Fukuda, percussions by Airto Mavam, with guest appearance on the カエル の 歌 outro by Makiko Toba, Mehdi Hercberg and Makoto ; The Macguffin plot written by Stanley Elkin, strings played by Aurélien Potier ; Open Malice vocals performed by Zoé Wolf, additional percussions by Linn Elem Wan ; Return of the Night Goat based on a riff by the Melvins ; Syllabus of Errors vocals performed by Nick Currie, strings played by Aurélien Potier, 7’’ hisses provided by Nao Suzuki ; Silviphobia (originally entitled O Meu Sonho Geometrico) vocals performed by Midori Hirano, trumpets played by Kumi Okamoto, tabla played by Lola Motelli, thumb piano and additional percussions by Suzie Subzero, big bell of the Chomei-Ji Temple by Daikon Mama, Barcelona Beats by Labranisch, leaves blown by Laurence Perrillat ; Electric Emily words randomly extracted from You Bright and Risen Angels by W.T. Vollmann, read and translated by Nobuko Hori ; City of Julie, plot by Ben Marcus, vocals performed by Cindy Lee Baker, end credits recorded by performers and Davide Balula and Laurence Perillat.

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Track Name: Genius Boy (with Kumi Okamoto)
Genius Boy, they’ve drunk your blood
Genius Boy, what have they done ?
Genius Boy, they took your crown
Genius Boy, they broke your thorns
Genius Boy, they broke your bones
Genius Boy, what have they done ?
Genius Boy, you’ve lost your horn !

My Genius Boy, is a unicorn without a horn.
My Genius Boy, they’ve buried him before he was born.

Genius Boy, you looney gook
Genius Boy, you’ll take over
Genius Boy, looming from your nook,
Preparing your fire soup
Genius Boy, they pity you,
When they should destroy your heart

Genius Boy, you’ll take over
With your fire soup and revolver
Genius Boy, what have they done ?