Essay Recordings AY 12
Expeditions into Central Asian Dub Space (on special limited vinyl) The first Vinyl to be excerpted from the upcoming Omnipresence album features 4 tracks from that album (remixed for vinyl use) and a very special remix by Viennese super heroes Makossa & Megablast.
Omnipresence is the opus magnum of the explorer and discoverer OMFO who already graced the clubs with tracks from his Trans Balkan Express (being also used by Borat on his eponymous movie) and We are the Shepherds (a collaboration with Electronica wizard Atom™). Now OMFO returns after years of travelling Central Asia far and wide, making hundreds of recordings, delving into ancient musical cultures, learning to play strange and unfamiliar instruments, have culminated in this experimental electro-acoustic masterpiece. An unprecedented combination of sound and instruments takes us on a journey through time and space, captivating the imagination from the very first moment.
OMFO always had a strong following in Austria, where his first album was an underground bestseller. Now Makossa & Megablast - who recently scored with their fabulous "Kunuaka"album (G-Stone Recordings) - reworked the OMFO track Baghdub, which was hailed being one of the most outstanding tracks on the popular "Dub Club"compilation (also on Dorfmeister's label G-Stone). Makossa & Megablast asked for the original tapes and crafted BUGDUB - housy dancefloor stomper.
Marcus Wagner-Lapierre aka MAKOSSA is a long time veteran of the Viennese Dj culture. He started spinning in the early 80ies and became head of music for Austria's famous and nationwide independent radio station FM4 in 1995. Makossa has influenced and animated thousands of music lovers in and around Austria and is known for his wide range of musical knowledge and taste. His legendary Saturday night show "Swound Sound System" with Mc Sugar B specializes in deep, dope, dubby & dirty funky, afro, cosmic influenced electronica and has been running for more than 13 years now. After a few remixes & productions for/with Uptight, Sofa Surfers & Peter Kruder in the mid 90ies, he finally teamed up with long-time friend Megablast. Sascha Weisz aka MEGABLAST started in the early 90ies as DJ/Producer. Initially inspired by Dope Beats, Reggae, and Hip Hop, he soon developed a passion for Acid House, Tribal and Electro. Still too young for official parties and clubs, he enjoyed the illegal Tech scene and started showing his individual style of producing with his first project "Luv Lite Massive". Influenced by all these different kinds of music, Megablast developed his own "Viennese" sound presenting the output on his highly acclaimed debut album "Creation" (Stereo Deluxe, 2003). Meanwhile, he has remixed and released for the likes of G-Stone, !K7, Afroart and Pulver. His own tracks have been reinterpreted by such nobilities as Fauna Flash, Yam Who, Stereotyp and Pressure Drop. http://www.myspace.com/makossamegablast
Collaborating with artists and musicians from around Eurasia is OMFOs greatest passion; traditional cultures and their connection with cosmic metaphysical forces his greatest inspiration. OMFO wants to introduce western audiences to what he regards as the "intrinsic modernism of the Orient”. This includes extending the listener's experience of music beyond the boundaries of mere entertainment and taking it into the realms of ritual. In his quest to resolve the issue of traditional cultures and their role in the age of technologies, Omnipresence is a catalyst for the fusion of these two seemingly irreconcilable concepts.
OMFO aka German Popov has played with bands like The Children of Lieutenant Schmidt, Sputnik (album: The Favorite Songs of Soviet Cosmonauts), recorded for the Kidnap label, created his own Solaris label, did collaborations with Metamatics, Aavikoo, Jimpster, CiM and Felix Kubin. The spectrum of OMFO's works is wide. He produces soundtracks for adult video clips and composes jingles for Turkmen radio stations. For the Venice biennale he wrote the soundtrack for the first ever Central Asian pavilion.
"When listening to OMFO for the first time, I was surprised about the fact that someone was working on a similar "theme" with me, yet dedicated to a totally different cultural zone. At first glance, what OMFO does seems to be so far away from, for example, my work with Sr. Coconut, Lisa Carbon or projects such as "Flanger", yet to me that difference does not really exist. It is music that somehow denies the dominance of certain cultural stereotypes by bending and twisting them into something that appears to be familiar, yet isn't. It is music that questions both familiar locations in time and space and expands them towards new horizons."Atom™
A1 Makossa & Megablast vs. OMFO: BUGDUB
B1 Tipsy Djinn
B2 Sindbad the Spaceman
B3 The Sorcerer
OMFO - Biography
OMFO is German Popov's stage name. He was born in 1966 in the port city of Odessa, USSR. Growing up in the biggest country in the world and being brainwashed by communist propaganda he proudly marched through the glory and misery of Soviet reality until all this came to an end. Unable to endure the pain inflicted by Perestroika G. Popov headed for the west, arriving in multicultural Amsterdam - a city associated with tolerant cannabis policy and frivolous behaviour. That was where G. Popov rediscovered the rich cultural inheritance that was left to him by the past. Utopian ideology, the moral and cultural decay of the Brezhnev era, the pathos of space exploration and ethnic diversity: all this made him ready to become OMFO. G. Popov began his musical career playing gangster ballads and prison epics in caviar restaurants and fugitive hangouts together with Alec Kopyt. Taking advantage of world music lovers they played under the name The Children of Lieutenant Schmidt. After a while when this became no longer tenable G. Popov shifted his focus of interest towards space and cosmonauts. Jointly with a group of Soviet expatriates he created a band called Sputnik. Noticed by the adepts of electronic extravaganza Sputnik soon released their only album The Favorite Songs of Soviet Cosmonauts. While the band was beeping around glamorous clubs and private parties G. Popov explored another musical path - folklore. During one of his solo performances he was approached by a producer of a major Dutch new age label, who offered him his studio to make a recording. Shortly after, Oreade Music released an album under the mysterious name Isiric. To G. Popov's surprise this work was classified by the label as Worlds Healing Music. In contradiction to this classification, the album continues to inspire young intellectuals to experiment with psychedelic substances all over the former USSR. The secret of its popularity hides behind the Russian lyrics of exotic Siberian and Central Asian melodies, skilfully played on weird instruments and sung with quaint vocal techniques. Probably this was when G. Popov fully realized the inseparable unity of ethnic wisdom and electronics as a true folklore of the 21st century.
As the Nineties were wrapping up their legacy OMFO focused on his solo project Our Man from Odessa, collaborating with various electronic labels. Most of his early works were released on the small Dutch label Kidnap, founded and run by members of the ex-Soviet diaspora. During this period he also collaborated with a controversial diva from the remote republic of Tuva – Sainkho Namchilak - travelling the world and playing at big international venues.
As the new millennium kicked in, G. Popov and his friends found a new platform for their futuristic vision of sound and music. This is how Solaris was born. Presented not as record label, but as an art lab, this project was clearly inspired by Russian constructivism and utopian romanticism. The glamorous alias Our Man from Odessa gradually turns into the more succinct and enigmatic OMFO. During this period, OMFO comes into creative contact with projects and artists such as Metamatics, Aavikoo, Jimpster, CiM and Felix Kubin. All these names appeared on Solaris' releases such as Aelita, Cheap Electric Paradise and Omnipresence. Music distributors and record shop owners still treat these impeccably designed albums as collector's items. A few years ago OMFO was contacted by Vladimir Lomberg – a like-minded person who was invisibly present behind various projects including Solaris and Kidnap. He put OMFO in touch with Essay Recordings - a record label that is exploring the hidden potential of Eastern European music. OMFO's works began with a successful remix of a track written by Shantel – the man who pioneered the fusion of Balkan music with electronic beats. After the remix was included in the internationally acclaimed Bucovina Club album, OMFO was commissioned by Essay to work on his new album. Responding to the demand for something new in this field, OMFO created Trans Balkan Express. Shortly after its release this album became popular throughout Europe and beyond, scoring hits; it was played on the radio and covered by the mass media. Experimenting with fresh concepts and ideas, OMFO immediately distanced himself from the rest of the producers working in this genre. The peculiar and somewhat humorous vision of a Carpathian villager, playing a native tune on an analogue synthesizer, made OMFO's music natural and accessible for people from all walks of life and religious or ethnic backgrounds. Only this quality could attract an audience that includes criminals, shepherds, astronomers as well as taxi drivers and even terrorists. Regardless of the simplicity of the album, many music critics hailed Trans Balkan Express as cutting edge. The songs from Trans Balkan Express were licensed by other labels and included in various compilations. It also came to the attention of famous comedian Sasha Baron Cohen better known as Ali G. Two tracks from OMFO's album are about to be featured in the new 20th Century Fox film production Borat's Guide to America.
Due to its very strong Arabic influence, one track called Bagdub was not included on the album. It was released by Dorfmeister's G-Stone Recordings, becoming one of the most outstanding tracks of the "Dub Club"compilation. Last spring G. Popov was introduced to Uwe Schmidt himself, who is also know under the alias of Atom™or Señor Coconut. The Sound Wizard kindly agreed to participate in the production of the new OMFO's album. Separated by the Atlantic Ocean but united by a common goal, the two men started to exchange midi and audio files, to manipulate sounds, pushing to the limits of their software and hardware. As a result of their efforts, the album was ready within one month! Under the name We are the Shepherds, this project became the logical continuation of the previous Trans Balkan Express. The ironic reference to Kraftwerk in both titles was intended to underline the electronic concept of music.
To promote his projects, OMFO put together a line-up of five extraordinary people: the Transylvanian gypsy wunderkind Vasil Nedea on cimbalom and accordion, the Azeri sci-fi writer and virtuoso Rassul Kazimov on tar and guitar, the freedom fighter and storyteller Bakhtiyar Eybaliyev as percussionist and singer, often compared to a nightingale, and Fay Lovsky, The Lady from Beyond, who plays extremely rare instruments such as theremin and the singing saw, adding an eerie and mysterious mood to the music. All these musicians took part in the recording of We are the Shepherds.
The spectrum of OMFO's works is wide. He produces soundtracks for adult video clips and composes jingles for Turkmen radio stations. For the Venice biennale he wrote the soundtrack for the first ever Central Asian pavilion. Also, OMFO gives solo concerts and performs as a sound artist, as well as collecting field recordings. One of the new forms of using sound by OMFO is creation of a "sonic horoscopes"which are a peculiar way of linking astrology and music. In order to able to present his musical ideas avoiding European stereotypes he is constantly searching for the right venues and conditions to present his music to the audience. This brings OMFO in interaction with art galleries, theatres, cinemas, planetariums and botanical gardens.