The hauntingly gorgeous, sonic world building here, is all about abrasively processed harmonies and delicate, mindful distortion. As you float across her eerie, enigmatic soundscapes, x/o’s sense of compositional drama is unmistakable: disembodied vocals, static-drenched synth pads and alternately sweet and sinister sound design project you into parallel digital futures.
A Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artist about which very little is known, x/o draws her inspiration from anime/role playing game soundtracks and 1990s R’n’B heroines. Cocoon Egg (2017), her compelling debut EP, draws listeners in with swirls of percussive static, and a constant oscillation between abrasiveness and ethereality, played out over the course of an intensely personal sonic journey. Cocoon Egg’s release coincided with her globally dispersed record label-cum-collective-slash-platform Quantum Natives being featured on the December cover of British avant-garde music bible The Wire. In May, Xio soundtracked Jonathan Zawada’s METAMATHEMAGICAL, a projection-mapped artwork lighting up the sails of the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid Sydney Light, Music & Ideas Festival.
After taking her layered melodic narratives about reflection and rebirth as far away as Shanghai and Osaka last December, X/O brings her creeping, beautifully abstracted and dust-cloaked electronics and visual environment to Montréal for her MUTEK debut.