Sep 2011 26

ohGr - unDevelopedohGr
Category: Industrial / Experimental
Album: unDeveloped
Stars: 4
Blurb: Balancing pop appeal with scathing experimentalism, ohGr returns to form with an album that is far from what its title suggests.

 

Nivek Ogre has become something of a legend in his own time. Over the course of the last three decades, he has come to exemplify the very idea of what a creative artist and thought-provoking performer should be. With his de facto solo band ohGr, he and Mark Walk have redefined the boundaries between experimental electro/industrial and saccharine pop music with 2001’s Welt and 2003’s SunnyPsyOp. In 2008, the pair took a drastic and unexpected turn with Devils in My Details, presenting a massive and distorted mélange of pure musical exploration that defied categorization, distinguishing itself from not only past ohGr material but even their work in Skinny Puppy. While this approach was given a mixed reception among fans, with unDeveloped, ohGr makes a stylistic compromise between that leans toward the pop sensibilities of the earlier albums without losing the exploratory edge.

In the last two years, ohGr released two singles via the band’s website, “Tragek” and “Collidoskope,” both of which were well received by fans and served as the best indication of what auditory paths unDeveloped would send listeners. Indeed, both songs are included here (the latter being relegated to a hidden track), presenting the balance of Ogre’s unique vocal melodies – at once haunting, disturbing, and enticing – with skittering, glitch-laden electronics that sound like the death throes of an ancient analog synthesizer. Songs like “ScrewMe” with its gritty harmonization and scathing atmosphere, ending with a contemplative piano, “Animist” with its straightforward structure and spacious ambience, and “Crash” with its grinding guitar stabs offset by the distant sound of a police siren and Ogre’s signature rapid fire wordplay bring us right back to those qualities fans fell in love with when ohGr first appeared. Similarly, “Bellew” and “Comedown” are perhaps among the poppier moments on the album with light-heartedly saccharine synth arpeggios, while “Hollow” will clearly find a home on the dance floor with its head-bopping beat and frigid atmosphere. Perhaps the most aggressive moment on the album is its opener as “101” finally lashes out a seething chorus of “Who do I have to fuck? I don’t know,” identifying the WDIHTF motif of the last two years.

Not unlike Devils in My Details, unDeveloped is an album best experienced from beginning to end, giving fillers like the intros to “101” and “Crash” or the sound collage of “Typer” a transitional function, without which the apparent narrative flow (if there actually is one – it would not be uncharacteristic of Ogre) would likely disintegrate. Indeed, the repeated sample of “Stick to the mainstream” on “Typer” could easily be construed as a response to the mixed reception of the previous record, defending ohGr’s experimental flights of fancy. However, this is an album of songs that can be enjoyed individually, giving those fans that yearned for the proverbial return to form exactly what they need. As such, unDeveloped is wonderful proof of why Mark Walk and Nivek Ogre are among the most revered artists of this generation.

Track list:

  1. 101_Intro
  2. 101
  3. Crash_Intro
  4. Crash
  5. Pissage
  6. Comedown
  7. Typer
  8. ScrewMe
  9. Bellew
  10. Hollow
  11. Tragek
  12. Animist
  13. Nitwitz

ohGr Website http://www.ohgr.org
ohGr MySpace http://www.myspace.com/bigohgr
ohGr Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/oHgr/43024631651
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
SPV GmbH Website http://www.spv.de

Purchase at:
Amazon CD (Metropolis)
Amazon CD (PID)
Amazon MP3

2011-05-10

Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

2 Comments

  1. […] ohGr – unDeveloped |20 hours ago … ohGr MySpace http://www.myspace.com/bigohgr ohGr Facebook http://www. facebook.com/pages/oHgr/43024631651. Metropolis Records … […]

  2. Damian G. says:

    Altough in the context of his solo work this album might be merely logical evolution of ohGr’s style, strong focused structure of most of the new material is surprising.
    Altough clearly tied to the past with a rich layer of distorted beats, unDerdeveloped is filled with catchy songs and is as accessible as it is entertaining.

Leave a Comment

*