Interview & Première – O Mer

We first met O Mer back in March this year when his Nocturnal Habits were keeping us awake at night. Missing those nights of insomnia somewhat, we asked him to send us a track and he rose to the occasion with this New Wave Slave that we have the pleasure of premiering below.

O Mer is a discreet and even mysterious artist and keeps things pretty quiet about himself and his music, but he did answer a few questions which go some way to drawing a picture behind this shady figure of the great cloud of sound…

Can you tell us a bit about your story? You’re living and working in Brooklyn at the moment…

I grew up in and around Tel Aviv. Now I’m in Brooklyn. I moved to get a bit of an artistic clean slate.

Is there quite an intense feeling the identities of so many artists linked to Brooklyn?

It’s not very intense but it is very versatile, a lot more than most people can imagine I think.

Do you produce alone or do you collaborate with other artists?

I produce my music alone. I do consult a lot with another musician that lives and works in Brooklyn called Ateller. We are each others primary audience for most of what we do.

Is the solitary nature of digital composition one of the reasons why you chose to make electronic music?

It’s more about the control over every tiny detail. I love playing with other musicians.

There are themes of being trapped, wanting to be free… Would you agree that those dub and garage sounds make you feel pretty free?

Maybe they do… I feel freedom mostly when I play the guitar.

o mer

Moving onto Blind and your previous work: your singing is really strong and you have a beautiful vocal technique (that sounds like it comes from growing up in Tel Aviv?), and you’re not afraid to jump between registers. Has your voice been trained?

Not really… I did play with a lot of singers and I did ask a lot of them how to produce certain kinds of sounds with one’s voice.

We love the way you integrate sounds into your music like breaking glass or everyday objects being struck. Is it our imagination, or have you recorded these IRL (In Real Life…sorry) ?

Most of it is from sound libraries for film. Some of it I record myself when I have an exact sound in mind.

We really like the way you use jazz chords. It’s rare to hear those chord progressions without a feeling of nostalgia. But you manage to make it sound almost futuristic; it’s not a ‘throwback’ to anything. How do you do that?

I think I have very little nostalgia in me. I love harmony very much. It’s what I think about most of the time. As for the futuristic aspect, I guess musical aesthetic works like a slingshot. “The more you stretch back” etc…

Can you recommend us your top three tracks that make you want to dance?

Heterocetera – Lotic

Mating Dance – Flako

Here Right Now – Adi Ulmansky and Ateller

 

And finally, the question we always like to ask here at the Limonadier – if you were a drink, what would you be?

Rosetta Arak.

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Because the Limonadier hasn’t yet been to Tel Aviv, we had to look up what this drink was. We know Arak – the milky aniseed drink which the Levantine equivalent of Greek ouzo or French pastis. Well a ‘Rosetta Arak’ is arak with almond syrup… this sounds so amazingly exotic that we’re going to have to go and sit quietly for a while and listen to O Mer’s music in a peaceful reverie.

Cheers !

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Joanna
Limonadier is now available in English thanks to my inimitable team of French-reading, English-writing waifs and strays. We translate the articles from French, and write new pieces in English. I like haze pop (Beach House), lyrical hip hop (Rejjie Snow, French 90s), bass (Thundercat, bassy dance music, and things like Pixies and Jack White) and that mysterious genre of proper music which we don't discuss much here but is quaintly known as 'classical'. *** Il était une fois, le Limonadier était une publication uniquement francophone. Puis vint l'équipe British, lancé par Miss Joanna avec le précieux soutien des chers fondateurs, et c'était parti, vers l'infini et au delà ! Mon cocktail préféré: tequila, citron vert, sucre de canne.

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