"My brother used to sit down on my head. He called this strange game 'hatching'." HATCHING ***
OY's record entitled First Box Then Walk is so playfully unpredictable and colorful, that if it were a screenplay, it could easily be the next Michel Gondry film. Inspired by the Dadaist spirit, the love for improvisation and loosely based on childhood memories, this seasoned sounding debut is truly a heartfelt roller coaster odyssey through the outer limits of music. Joy Frempong's light hearted storytelling filled with a childlike wonder, a sense of surprise and a wholesomely absurd, giddy sense of humor provides the perfect backdrop for this musical exploration. In a sense this record is all about rediscovering the magic in music.
It should come as no surprise then that a whole army of children's toys comes to life on First Box Then Walk to form a big band supporting a tribal chant in an imaginary language, or that the sound of a noisy street in the background effortlessly morphs into a delicate harmony. Time and time again we are challenged as listeners and reminded by the artist that nothing here is what it appears to be and that everything is possible.
"Children's dreams, children's dreams - which motionlessly bathe in the sun for a long time, like dragonflies between peach blossoms; and there! Suddenly they blast through the air like silver arrows. For a moment, the world is standing still: clear, silvery and transparent - like glass. It's impossible for adults to imitate what children do. Yet every grown-up has once been a child." KUMAKEY ***
From the very beginning of the album the idea of genre is deemed inoperative, but traces of Jazz, Soul, 70s progressive Rock, Avant-Pop and contemporary experimental Electronica can be found throughout. The whole spectrum of voices on this record from the over-the-top theatric's spoken word recitals to the soaringly soulful hook lines, the abstract backing Electronica soundtrack and the more classically inclined compositions supporting them - that's all Joy from beginning to end. And what's important to point out - OY can single handedly bring it all back to life on stage.
"New Year's eve..a new year is descending from the sky. Arriving at midnight sharp. And this explains why the bells are ringing." NEW YEAR ***
Four long years in the making, often interrupted by endless tours and all sorts of musical collaborations, but a unique solo artist was finally born!
*** Words adapted from 'Der Tod und Das Püppchen' by Cecile Ines Loos (1883 - 1959)