Review: Oxo Foxo – Dusk

There comes a time in your life when you cynically recognise that we all are stuck in a loop. This rut can be soul-crushing and you pray for an imperfection can help you skip out and move forward or damn you to get stuck forever in a groove.

Without wanting to impose my own interpretation on Oxo Foxo‘s music, Dusk feels like that instant where the needle skips. Gravity is defeated, and as the stylus describes a perfect sad parabola, the sampled vocals and Eastern arrangements spread into the air. The question is: do we move forward or are we stuck in the same music clip? Dusk seems to be torn between affirming that we can be free of our own traps, but what comes next isn’t exactly what we expect.

‘Morning light’ embodies that amazing moment at the break of dawn. Green and blue hues spread over the sky like a gradient. It’s no longer night, but day is just a moment away. The additional vocals by Robert Saull (from The Purgatory Players and many, many other Sheffield bands) enriches the song, as the longing in his vocals intertwines with Oxo Foxo‘s dreamy vocals.

‘Proboscis’ is a lovely track, equal parts Programmed to Love era Bent and Trip Hop. There’s an undercurrent of sadness in the wistful music that surfaces in ‘Like a butterfly’. ‘Like a butterfly’ could be a celebration of change and evolution, but ends up admitting that change can sometimes be much ado about nothing.

The darkness is never as unforgiving or cold as in the chilling ‘Spiderwebs’. A horrific account of tangling yourself on a web that you spun yourself. We have met the enemy, and it’s looking back at us from the other side of the mirror. Not only the music is afflicting, but the production itself is different, increasing the poignancy of the track. If ‘Spiderwebs’ is the lowest emotional point in Dusk, ‘Inertia’ is a call to arms. Various wild felines are beckoned to join a march, a final charge over a hill. The war is over, and as the infectious disco beat carries us away, the hill fades into a field of poppies.

Blunt lyrics delivered in a tacit form, carrying emotions that in a lesser artists would demand overtly depressing music or screaming, but in the right hands (or paws), become something else: a magical performance that seeps through the emotional pores, never to flow out.

A journey through the magic hour, where both day and night intertwine, blurring the line between light and darkness. This is the space where Dusk exists and where the clear distinction between hunter and prey dissipates as the last ray of light disappears in the distance.

Words: Sam J. Valdés López

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