The San Diego-based producer O/X, whose alias derives from his last name, Oxendine, is unrelenting in his pursuit for aggressive dance music. His 7″ with the tracks “Falling Into” and “Scorch” (out tomorrow, Friday, October 22 via Dream) is an aggressive take on modern EBM. The digital offering of the release is just as exciting with remixes by Physical Wash and Kontravoid, both heavy-hitters of the scene.
The Kontravoid remix for “Scorch” is a vicious one that blends the caustic mood of O/X with Kontravoid’s inherent danceable basslines, metallic clangs and eerie atmospheres—its pulsating beat is mesmerizing from beginning to end. Listen to the remix below:
We also caught up with Christopher Oxendine to ask about his first release and what the future holds for O/X.
Tell us a bit about your music history: when did you start making music and what inspired you to make EBM?
I started making solo music in 2017 after an older project I had with some friends fizzled out. The previous project was where I got my start but had more of a percussion role. I played a hybrid setup up of standup acoustic drums mixed with electronic drum pads and sequencers. I started writing/recording my first solo material under the name O/X in 2018 after I had spent a year sort of gathering/collecting cheap synths, drum machines, etc.
I wanted to start making Electronic Body Music mainly because I was getting heavily into the genre at that time and it’s what I like listening/dancing to with my friends. I remember listening to Suicide, Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk, & Severed Heads for the first time and thinking that was it! Or at least when it comes to how free-form and experimental the music was.
What’s your studio setup like?
I have an Akai MPC Live as my master controller which is used to sequence all my external synths. I also send midi out of that to a Roland TR 707 for extra drum textures. I like to mix it along with drum samples from the MPC. I use a Moog Mother 32 sometimes for basslines and other sequences. I recently got a Roland Alpha Juno that I’ve been using a lot. It is an awesome vintage wavetable polysynth; I also use it for bass parts, leads, and lush pads. Additionally, started diving into a Korg Ms-20. Currently love using it to add a lot of noisy ambience to tracks, but look forward to making some big basslines with it soon. Everything goes into a Mackie VLZ3 mixer. Then I run my vocals through a doubling/detune pedal along with some reverb, delay, and chorus.
What are the themes in the new 7″ and how do you think it matches the genre?
I perceive our current time through a dystopian and almost disturbing lens. I’m largely influenced by Sci-Fi, at times it feels like we’re living in a science fiction novel. The way the government handles crisis is almost always poorly and while ‘dystopia’ is not a real place it is certainly a warning and a very critical one. Hopes of radical reform to government and policing are constant.
Another theme for instance, is how technology has enriched our lives but simultaneously has been misused and made to cause unnecessary and even harmful repercussions. Oh, and I guess depression is another (laughs). I believe these themes relate to the genre because the subject matter picks up on the transgressive approach found in punk and industrial music. Putting a microscope on things that aren’t so pleasant and asking why they exist?
Why did you choose Physical Wash and Kontravoid to make remixes?
First and foremost, I’m a fan of both of their projects and find their music inspiring. As far as modern-day EBM goes, I think they’re at the forefront of elevating and taking the genre to new places & ears so it’s really an honor to have been able to work with them and the remix process is such a cool experience. This is the first time I’ve had anyone remix my stuff and it was really interesting to see what someone else does with the elements of your song, especially when you have full faith in their creative process.
What are your plans for the future of O/X?
Presently, I am working on a follow-up to the 7” that picks up and runs with the same sort of energy. It might be an EP or just a shorter album, we shall see. I want the project to take me to places outside of where I live and be able to tour. I haven’t played live outside of SD, LA, and Mexico. I think it would be cool to collaborate with a guest vocalist down the line as well.
Upcoming tour dates:
10/22 San Diego – w/ Kontravoid & Spike Hellis at The Casbah
11/28 Los Angeles – Substance at The Belasco