Multimedia project exploring the shared history of two seemingly unrelated nations, Ireland and Ukraine. Focusing on occupation, revolution, famine and martyrdom.
Biloxata Encyclopedia MMXXII
By parodying the format and aesthetic of the Microsoft Encarta series, the piece sardonically frames the personal perspective of the album's narrative in an objective educational context.
Sukhumi (Theme For Georgiy Gongadze)
A desktop reenactment of the immediate news coverage surrounding the disappearance of Georgiy Gongadze, the founder of Ukraine's first online news agency in 2000.
Musically the album attempts to re-imagine a stereotypical oppressive Eastern Bloc sound by using Soviet-made synthesizers and drum machines almost entirely.
Premier at Асортиментна Кімната, Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine. 2021.
via Beats Per Minute
Under the alias of Eugene the Oceanographer, musician Matthew O’Toole has long been an advocate of cross-genre embellishment, finding different ways to connect discordant sounds in an attempt to reveal the common roots between these disparate musical lineages. Blending ambient, plunderphonics, cold wave, experimental, and punk, he’s developed an aesthetic as unusual as it is revelatory. On his latest release, The Maze, he turns his eye and ear toward the shared histories of Ireland and Ukraine, two seemingly unrelated countries, and focuses in on themes of occupation, revolution, and famine. From the opening bells and plinking synths of “You are Now Entering Free Derry” to the chaotic electronics of closer “Перм-36”, the album revels in its ability to lift elements from practically anywhere and to compile them in such a way as to reveal hidden nuance and relevance where none existed before.
Recorded in Kyiv, the album features guest appearances from Maja Nikolic, Gentils Floquets, and Cult Party, showing that O’Toole is just as happy to have collaborators as he is to concentrate on his own unique musical perspective. There’s an underlying tension to these songs, a feeling of unresolved hostility and hints that some things can’t be fixed, just remembered. Between grimy dancefloor arrythmia and lo-fi punk clangor, The Maze, never loses its own drive toward genre deconstruction and adaptation. Even with all of its shifting musical influences, the record never feels disjointed, only anxious to draw in more sound sand pull them apart at the seams. It’s eager to see what can be made from the detritus of noise and a desire to use these various sounds as connective tissue between two geographies so different in many ways and yet so similar in others. The end result is an album of contrasts and resemblance, an ode to human relationships and the ways in which he can destroy those personal networks and how we might also repair them.