oOoOO & Islamiq Grrrls – Faminine Mystique
A wilfully disorientating record that’s by turns playful and painfully serious, Faminine Mystique captures and uniquely reframes the digital zeitgeist
Defined by intensity rather than genre, Faminine Mystique is so fragmented that it feels nearer to a mixtape than an album. The transitions between tracks are intentionally blunt or blurrily arbitrary, mimicking the splicing of sounds and styles that is inherent to consuming music via the internet in the year 2018. More than this, though, it’s a deeply nostalgic, intimate record.
The result of a meeting of minds in oOoOO (the search engine-unfriendly moniker of witch-house pioneer Christopher Greenspan) and Islamiq Grrrls (a German musician who prefers to remain anonymous, due to her Bosnian Muslim upbringing), Faminine Mystique crunches through half-remembered sounds to create an immersive, melodramatic world. The Stranger combines ghostly vocals and lush, hazy orchestration with percussion so remote it sounds like fading footsteps. True Blue builds towards an astonishing pop-metal riff, like a post-internet Evanescence ballad. Be On Through laces a brisk breakbeat with howling wolves, woozy synth and a murmured, infinitely repeated vocal: 'Oh / It’s coming back around again.'
You Don’t Love Me is a hypnotic noughties pop song turned inside out and set to half-speed, and its response Yr'e Gonna Love Me wheezes and creaks as if a toy box at its core is winding down. 'I think you’ve got me on your mind' Greenspan breathes, but he’s not sure. Twisted guitar joins the dots and sets these tracks within the grand rock canon of creepily unrequited love.
Lock your bedroom door, draw the blinds and take a deep dive: partner tracks When Yr'e All Alone and I Want to Be Alone are both vulnerable and sleazy, dirtying their online influences with hammering, screeching, attention-seeking details. A wilfully disorientating record that’s by turns playful and painfully serious, Faminine Mystique captures and uniquely reframes the digital zeitgeist.
Listen to: Yr'e Gonna Love Me, Feeling Feelings, True Blue