New EP released on October 4th via Truant Recordings
ØxØ (pronounced “null”) is a new collaboration between Brighton-based experimental duo David Berry and Barnaby Thorn, two artists developing concept-led “post-internet music for anti-millennials”. Their new limited edition cassette EP is out via pioneers of the hyper-specific, indie label Truant Recordings.
ØxØ is the marriage of intelligent, ambient cinematic arrangements and carefully considered theory put forward to convey thought-provoking ideas that that have long been on their minds.
Berry, a Digital Media Professor at Sussex University, is a writer, producer and electronica artist who began recording under the moniker Meme as well as one half of the electronica duo Ward. He co-founded the open source label LOCA Records in 1999 and has been supported by John Peel (who, memorably, once played his track at the wrong rpm). More recently he’s been writing books about art, design and technology and developing an international reputation for questioning the ways in which artificial intelligence and machine-learning are articulated in relation to the arts and humanities – particularly notions of augmentating, automating and informating.
He completed a PhD at the University of Sussex in 2008 and since then has written a number of books and articles. As a philosopher and critical theorist he’s had visiting Fellowships at a number of top universities and was an associate member of the Faculty of History at Oxford University. He is a regular speaker at conferences around the world and has keynoted at a number of events. In 2017 he was a British Academy Fellow, researching a paper on “Reassembling the University: The Idea of a University in a Digital Age” which looked at how digital transformations were remaking what we think of as knowledge. This led to the funding and creation of the ØxØ project as a sonic installation before it was picked up by Truant.
Partner Barnaby Thorn has released music on Carton-Pâte Records and Love Love Records under various aliases. After 2 years teaching in Berlin at a renowned music college Barnaby has composed, experimented in ambisonics/psychoacoustics and collaborated with other artists for interactive installations. Barnaby is now based in Brighton and has been working and dabbling in sonic engineering with his brother in Felix’s Machines (Mute) and with Plaid (Warp Records) for the past 4 years.
With their forces combined, ØxØ consider their new EP a reflection on a damaged life – it’s a critique on the technological advances that have changed all our lives and further remove us from our surrounding world.
“Across the globe, as the sun rises, we begin each day with a routine that marks 21st century life as unique in all of history. Before they get dressed, before they are even fully awake, billions of people start their morning by gazing at rectangular oleophobic panes of illuminated glass. These devices engineer a new kind of life which entangles the private and the public, the digital and the analogue. They are privy to our most intimate thoughts and memories and grant access to an unfathomable wealth of information and communication… in real-time. The phone is now a ‘smart’ phone, embellished with an intelligence that knows us better than we know ourselves. As it gradually learns our strengths and our weaknesses, our interests and our temptations, it overtakes us, telling us what we want to know before we even know it. The smartphone is a mirror that reflects back the ‘you’ that you always wanted to be.”
‘Mythologies’ is an EP seeped in concept, a powerful message that’s majestically conveyed through an assortment of glitchy, futuristic electronics. Surprising more is its ability to do so instrumentally. A unique blend of minimalist synth and samples which serve to entrap your senses just as much as the technology it’s set out to unmask. Beautiful yet haunting, these soundscapes paint a dark picture of a dystopian future that will have you opening your eyes to appreciate the now.