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O Emperor

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Recorded at Big Skin HQ, the base for the band’s label operations, Vitreous is the new album from O Emperor. The band’s own DIY studio was (literally) built from the ground up with everything from label administration to recording happening inside its grubby, fire-stained walls. The resulting recordings are a direct representation of this operation, being the band’s most ambitious and accomplished work to date; a stamp moulded from their many meandering sessions there.

While debut Hither Thither could be described as a lush tapestry displaying a classical use of depth and shading, Vitreous is more like a stark, multi-coloured and pixelated piece of pop art. Heavily distorted drums take their place alongside syrupy analogue synths and disgusting fuzz guitars sounding like bees buzzing inside tin cans. Beautiful landscapes are destroyed with disparate, abrasive sounds in perverse displays of artistic self-destruction.

All old school friends from Waterford, who grew up playing together in various bands and discovering the records they collectively grew to love, O Emperor emerged with debut long-player Hither Thither in 2010. A record of immense depth and far-reaching confidence, it was received with lavish praise from fans and critics alike, earning the band a Choice Music Nomination (Irish album of the year).

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