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Mel O’Dubhshlaine, also known as Ocelocelot and as a member of the legendary Ashtray Navigations, produces remarkably bizarre music using a curious array of instruments including an Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI). Deformed Vowels uses aspects of an excellent recent live performance at Leeds’ Crater Lake festival, and is very good.

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Deformed Vowels by Mel O'Dubhshlaine
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7/10 Laurie Staff review, 24 June 2015

Person-of-many-names M O’D is a proper sound tinkerer. From noisy live sets under the Ocelocelot guise to her more restrained improvised electronic gubbins, there runs a common thread of free experimentalism that is bounded neither by imagination or convention.

Take the instrument list for Deformed Vowels for example - the humble clarinet sits next to an electronic wind instrument that can essentially become anything it wants. Things such as EWIs and electronic bongos are almost nonsense to mention, the sounds contained here could be emitted by an extraterrestrial visitor and we still wouldn’t be surprised. The album title is particularly apt, reflecting the record’s bleepy conversations consisting of uttered digital syllables not of this earth, remnants of things that retain the tiniest fragment of association with vocal cords but die out before you notice to be shouted down by a synth squeal.

It’s pretty mad. You’re confronted with weird sound after weird sound, in an exploratory continuum that has been explored by fellow collaborator Neil Campbell aka Astral Social Club, who incidentally frequents Leeds’ Wharf Chambers where a lot of this was recorded. It’s a little too formless for these worn ears, but is nevertheless essential for electronic noisers.


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