Review: Ooey – Ooey (self-released, Aug 6)

Maine musician Zachary Zena Giberson already got my attention earlier this year with the superb Primordia, fruit of the Wife Eyes duo featuring Giberson and Matt Ackerman fusing quirky instrumental jams and Zolo-esque melodies with unruly electronics. It seems that the latter facet mainly came from Giberson, because on his self-titled debut album as Ooey, electronics are the name of the game. There’s plenty of rather extreme abstraction here, from the bite-sized intro track’s serpentine contortions to the unusual stereo space and recording device acknowledgement on “Boy on Display” and “A Fight I’ll Lose on Purpose,” but the expected fun element implied by previous work as well as the playful cover artwork is never completely abandoned. I see many different flavors of my favorite folkish-collage-electronic bands, including the surreal but lively melody cascades of Kemialliset Ystävät and the whimsical digital forest romps of Lucky Dragons, but Giberson’s style here is all his own, making drastic disparity sound utterly natural as crystalline synth shavings, mouth sounds, computer glitches, guitar meanderings, dissonant MIDI piano, and God knows what else clash and collide in colorful, kaleidoscopic webs. To be a lover of sound in general and listen to Ooey is to be a veritable kid in a candy store; there is always something to hear, hone in on, examine, taste even. It’s a delicious sensory overload, imbued with just enough reticence and space to never actually “overload.” Perfection.

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