(Ring the Alarm/Fake Diamond)
OOFJ (“Orchestra of Jenno”) is not your standard LA-based electronic duo. The band consists of Danish composer/multi-instrumentalist Jenno Bjorndjaer and the sultry soprano of his South African partner (and romantic partner) Katherine Mills Rymer. The duo bonded over a shard love of film soundtracks and French synth music, and one listen to the band’s sophomore record Acute Feast will make that plainly obvious. Most of the album sounds like the musical accompaniment to a haunted love scene; picturing two ghosts entranced in passion sounds odd, but it’s an oddly apropos image to what the duo creates. I’m sure I’m not the first to be reminded of David Lynch films while listening to OOFJ.
Musically, you can expect lush, pulsating synths, subtle yet crazy percussion, and Katherine’s fantastic vocal melodies. It’s the type of electronic music that’s suited more for a sexy nightmare than the dancefloor. This means the music is evocative, interesting, and not particularly interested in being loud or boisterous. There’s where the problem lies, is in the second half when the album seems to be more interested in carefully crafting mood than in writing good songs. The first half is loaded with great songs like “Snakehips” and is especially satisfying. This places the disappointing second half in greater context. Fortunately, the duo is talented enough to be able to coast and still be listenable, but it mars would could’ve been an even more enjoyable listen. (Nicholas Senior)