Friday 12 July 2019, 7.30pm
OYC were formed in Nottingham in 1982 on the wave of experimental music that emerged out of Post Punk. Quickly moving on from their early industrial and electronic influences, OYC began exploring the then-unfashionable ‘ambient’ genre, a lonely furrow they’ve ploughed ever since.
Today OYC are in their 37th year and fourth incarnation based around core members Andrew Hulme and Roger Horberry. Over the years they’ve released nine albums of wilfully obscure ambient-influenced music that together have earned them literally hundreds of pounds - from Scene in Mirage (1984), Into Dark Water (1987) and Peyote (1989) through to Tropic (2017). Largely ignored in the UK, they’ve consistently found audiences in the US and Europe more receptive to their work.
OYC have a somewhat relaxed work ethic and have frequently gone into hibernation for years at a time without ever going so far as splitting up. In 2017 they discovered they enjoyed touring and have played more gigs in the last two years than in the previous 20. They've also overseen a series of reissues on Emotional Rescue, as well as a remix 12” of their 1995 album track ‘Insect-Talk’.
OYC’s show at OTO will be accompanied by a film titled ‘Sleepwalker’ created by Andrew Hulme, a filmmaker whose work has been shown at Cannes. The result explores a sonic territory area the band have christened “dirty ambient” – multi layered, hyper textural, distinctly gritty and magically unreal.
Psychological Strategy Board is a collaboration between Paul Snowdon (Time Attendant) and Maybury that grew out of several years worth of unintentional improvisation on the Exotic Pylon radio show on Resonance FM. After being invited to participate in a sort-of remix project for the Front and Follow label we decided to give ourselves a name and formalise the concepts that we had subconsciously adopted over the years (largely based on strict parameters of improvisation, restriction and removal of authorial control) . Paul is a painter, sculptor and largely avoids instruments for the production of sound and Maybury is a writer, broadcaster and non-musician who works exclusively with looping samples. A chance encounter via Radio 3 led to our being invited to record the soundtrack to a documentary about the extraordinary work that artist Penny Slinger was producing in the late 60's. The wrinkle in this process was having no visual footage to refer to and receiving sonic guidance solely through gnomic emails from the Richard Kovitch, the film's director. A couple of years after completion of the soundtrack, the film saw the light of the day and we were released from hibernation as we worked out how the hell to reproduce the panic-ambient we had accidentally stumbled upon.
So we find ourselves in an unexpected new phase. The room in which the soundtrack was recorded was a key instrument in our original incarnation and this is no longer part of our lives. Last year we were experimenting with what the project meant as a live entity and this leads us to now, where we have a sound in our head that we're striving to reach whilst simultaneously embracing patience, restraint and the urge to pile on the noise. We think the panic is still there though.
Alex Egan currently runs the Utter record label which recently released O Yuki Conjugate’s ‘Insect-Talk’ 12”. Previous and upcoming releases include projects by Trevor Jackson, Jack Latham (Jam City), Jorge Velez, Legowelt and Maurice Fulton. Alex is also one half of Lost Continent, works at Phonica Records and helps run the sporadic Squish and Deep Cover events. Going further back he was involved in the Walk The Night and Blogger’s Delight parties, DJ duo Skull Juice and other nefarious activities.
As founder of numerous labels under the Emotional Recordings banner (Emotional Response, Emotional Rescue and Platform 23 to name 3) as well as co-running the obscurio label Sacred Summits, it is surprising Stuart Leath (aka Chuggy) has time for travel and play records, but over the last few years he has again been delving through his vinyl collection. Playing around the live sets this evening, expect drone, ambient, avant and esoteric sounds to emerge.