OOFJ – Acute Feast

Exposing the dark side of desire...

Though originally a result of the need for something that would drown out the projector's whirrs and clicks, film scores have developed into artistic creations in their own right. Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer and John Barry are household names, yet when watching a James Bond or a Tim Burton creation, we tend to focus on the narrative action rather than whether what you can hear is an oboe or a clarinet.

It's a testament to OOFJ that their music (consistently labelled as "cinematic") isn't just pleasant background music, but manages to capture your full attention.

They're certainly not your average LA-based musical duo. One part Dane, the other South African, they've described their music as "the perfect sausage of mystery meat", live in complete darkness, are real-life lovers, have scored Lars Von Trier and Ai Wei Wei films as well as a Copenhagen ballet, and are as inspired by Rachmaninoff as Earth Wind & Fire.

'Acute Feast', though, isn't a muddled mash of disparate ideas. The steeply ascending strings which open 'You're Always Good' reappear throughout the album like a leitmotif, lending an eerie backing to Katherine Mills-Rymer's siren-like voice. She's the vocal equivalent of a china doll that shoots daggers after dark; sugary-sweet and sinister in equal measure. While Jenno Bjørnkjær's production is at times Portishead, at others, Goldfrapp-esque; always grandiose and velvety rich.

After the sinister arpeggiations of an army of violins on the first two tracks, the major key that hits in the chorus of 'Snakehips' is like taking a shot of Grenadine. Arguably the standout of the LP, Katherine's breathy, suggestive lyrics urge the listener to "lose your tongue under mine".

Themes of seduction, lust, and repressed desires are rife, complementing the foreplay between electronic and orchestral sounds that Bjørnkjær provides, while the choral interplay on 'Wolves' is almost sacrilegious.

This confident second outing shows the couple to be on top form; fusing the romantic with the sonic to produce something gloriously next-level as a result. Put it on while you're showering (as they recommended us do) or, even better; be the imaginary protagonist of your own widescreen, HD film.


Words: Felicity Martin

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