Q&A: Odeko

“I don’t know who told you Gobstopper was just a grime label.” Mr Mitch took to Facebook recently to share his label’s newest release, A History With Samus from newcomer Odeko. Following Loom’s appropriately titled European Heartache EP, it continues down the path of grime-influenced electronic music that transcends both genre and locale, with one foot in the club and another in your dreams. Ahead of its release, we chatted with Odeko to talk about his current influences, origins and his book-buying habits, and we also have a first play of the utterly gorgeous “Tsundoku”.

What’s up? What have you been up to lately? “Hey! Not very much really, other than grinding my day job and making music.”

What was your inspiration for this project, musically speaking? “Lots and lots of stuff. It was made over the course of maybe a year and a half, and I crammed a lot of stuff in through that time. There are throwbacks to The Sims, a bit of Whitesnake, Wham!, Luther Vandross and other 80s bangers. Amongst that, some PC Music, the Atlanta and Chicago rap scenes, Raster-Noton, Rhythm and Sound, gtbsb, Samurai Music, Auxiliary and the Autonomic stuff. It all came into the mixing pot at some point.”

There are a lot of non-club/electronic impulses here — what’s your musical background? “After growing up on some pretty corny rock and death metal, and a bit of hip-hop now and then, I was introduced to stuff from Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Squarepusher through my drum teacher at high school. I got hooked on it all. My music taste really took a U-turn as I got into dubstep and drum & bass. Sparing the gory details of that part, it lead me to discover the Club Autonomic podcasts, and the Auxcast’s from ASC’s label, Auxiliary and they introduced me to a lot of new music. Since riding that post-autonomic wave (or whatever its being called now), I studied music technology at Bath Spa. I learnt a lot about live improv techniques and electro-acoustic music which has definitely informed/changed my approach towards everything with music. Arrangement, composition, sound design especially, even just listening to music feels different.”

How did you connect with Gobstopper? “I sent Miles a bunch of tunes about a year ago after Jack (Tom E. Vercetti) encouraged me to, and it just went from there really. “Tsundoku” was singled out for a release originally, then we settled on the other three tunes and called it a release.”

“Tsundoku” is the repeated act of buying books, but not reading them — is that something that you’re guilty of? I know it applies to me… “Massively guilty. I got into a habit of scouring charity shops for old sci-fi books until i realised it was getting out of hand. I’d start reading a book, then think, ‘I wanna read that other one actually’. I maybe finished seven books of the 40 or 50 I amassed over a couple years. Quite sad really…”

Odeko – A History With Samus is out on April 29 on Gobstopper. Pre-order here.

Aidan Hanratty

Dublin ...