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<< O >> - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

'O' Is Numero Uno

January 2007

« O » or "O" is not just a letter, a circle, or a number. "O" is also an experimental musical project from the brain of Yann H. Originally consisting of Yann H. and Sylvain D., "O" is group that creates "non-music". Hailing from France, "O" is a band that does not conform to the musical structures that are forced upon people via the radio or television. In order to properly represent the band's name, quotations must be used. This fact alone symbolizes that "O" is unusual. The music of "O" do not include melodic singing, choruses, verses, or repetitious pop structures. Instead, "O" creates abstract music from acoustic guitars, electricity, distorted child's flute, bells, and concrete, numeric noises. "O" has been described as a French minimalist orchestra non orchestra.

Antenna Records had the courage to release the debut album from "O", titled "Numero O". Founder of Antenna Records, Stephen Lawrie is no stranger to experimental music. Lawrie is the creative force behind the massively influential group The Telescopes (as well as Unisex). A band who has experimented with noise and eccentric instrumentation, The Telescopes were categorized in the shoe gazer genre and shared comparisons with excellent bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain. Through Antenna Records, Stephen Lawrie has released bold music from his own band as well as Fuxa and Los Planetos del Agua. Stephen Lawrie comments about Yann's music, "Yann from O insists O is not music - the listeners make it music.

"O" is a brilliant reminder that true musical art still exists. Rules of music have been shattered, but music continues to live. "O" have released split records with bands like Monitors and MooN. Besides Antenna Records, Burning Emptiness and Lona Records have also released music by "O". The mystery of "O" will never be solved. The balance has been maintained. Like a circle, "O" has ended where "O" has begun.

MVRemix: What goes on?

Yann: I suppose that all is well, but winter is near, so fingers and lips can't do their best, and I need them a lot, ah, ah!

MVRemix: Tell us about the « O » album, 'Numero O' released on Antenna Records.

Yann: This album was just released on Antenna Records one year ago. But, it has been recorded 2 years before its release on Antenna Records. Yeah! It took a long time to be released. It's something like a concept album, less abstract than what people imagine. And there are 13 instrumental songs.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the title, 'Numero O'?

Yann: 'Numero 0' is the term used for the test issues of paper zines and magazines. This title meant that it was the real end for us, a sort of failure. After this album, 'O' was doomed to die. But now, it means the 'O' beginning. Many things have changed in our lives. This title also deals with various abstractions. And there's a mirror effect with our name 'O', a false symmetry between the two terms, ever forget than 'O' consists in imperfect symmetry.

MVRemix: Favorite song on the 'Numero O'?

Yann: As you can imagine, I could say that all the songs are my faves. Each of them deal with a specific emotion. At the same time, some tracks are less interesting, if you listen to them out of their context. It's the only reason why I think there's a really better song. The most intense, the most achieved, 'La Trompette De L'ange, Et Si Peu Encore'. There's something really tragic in.

MVRemix: Which song took you the longest to do from conception to completion? Why?

Yann: I must confess that I don't remember things like that. The album was composed like a long song. So, the album took us a long time.

MVRemix: How would you describe the music of << O >>?

Yann: In two words? Approximative music. Perhaps, it could be described as post-apocalypse music. Just imagine that you don't have a lot of instruments. Just some broken child instruments, your hands, and some things not usually used for music. Just sporadic electric power and a constant need to play music, to play music like a non-musician. In a world between its end and a new beginning.

MVRemix: Where did you meet Sylvain meet? How did you eventually form the group?

Yann: We know us since secondary school. A really long time ago, we've play together in a lot of bands. But we were looking for something different at the same time, less conformist, and feed by our own esthetical values.

MVRemix: What do you argue about the most?

Yann: Cervantes. Don Quichotte. Lespugues, a great place. Silex, not my own passion.

MVRemix: What inspired the song, 'Raped Circle'?

Yann: I don't really like to explain metaphors. It's probably the best way to kill the bit of life that words can produce. Basically, the music of 'O' consists in a rape of some musical rules. As you can read, titles try to break with semantic rules. So you can imagine what inspired 'Raped Circle' and you can hear how a raped circle sounds. The track's structure means a lot.

MVRemix: Sebastien Hayez did the artwork for the album. How did you meet with him? Did you have input for the cover of 'Numero O'. What do you think of the cover?

Yann: Sébastien is one of my best friends since a long time. We used to work together for many projects. He realized more than one hundred different covers for JE, my electronica minimalist project. This guy used to work for the experimental scene, so I was sure he was the man for this album! He's able to produce really sweet atmospheres. I think that this cover is one of the best he's done. The best he's done is probably ''O' vs. Tin RP'. It was just transparent paper and black ink. I really like his work for 'Numero 0'.

MVRemix: What is the root or growing thing on the album cover for 'Numero O'?

Yann: Something really simple, life. But life is never a simple thing. Life needs at least 13 songs to be said. Yeah, 13 is the best choice to explain it.

MVRemix: How are people responding to this album?

Yann: The first listeners really hated our music. They were too glad to find a music easy to hate. My favorite hateful review is Fakejazz's one. But later, people began to understand what we wanted to do and began to feel something in our music, with our music. Finally, harsh reviewers, the best example is Franz de Waard from Vital Weekly, wrote really good things about this album.

>> continued...

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"Perhaps, it could be described as post-apocalypse music. Just imagine that you don't have a lot of instruments."