In a time when there’s little to trust or believe in, it’s nice that we can rely on one thing: there will never be a shortage of new Osees music. Never one to stick to a traditional album release schedule, John Dwyer has kept up his streak of nonstop Osees overload by unveiling two albums of new material (Protean Threat and Metamorphosed) plus a live concert album (Levitation Sessions) just since September. And if you thought Dwyer was done, then you clearly underestimate his work ethic.
Tomorrow, the garage-psych outfit will release Panther Rotate, a 9-track remix album that sees songs from Protean Threat reworked to make a wildly different listening experience. Where Protean Threat hummed with motorik driving energy, the songs on Panther Rotate reveal themselves at a glacially groovy pace, with self-described "squishy" experimentations and field recordings leaving only hints of the original songs remaining.
Describing the remixing process of turning the older album into the newer one, Dwyer says, "Every day we would go into the studio after we’d got the tracking done and we would mix one song for Protean Threat and then we would take a break, go have dinner, and then go back late at night and do a remix." He continues, "there’s plenty of art to be made so we were just throwing things around, see what works, see what’s fun to play, fun to work on."
Ahead of the record’s release, Dwyer has shared Panther Rotate exclusively via KEXP alongside a track-by-track breakdown of the process and inspirations behind each song. Listen to Panther Rotate in full and tumble down the rabbit hole that is Dwyer’s mind with his unedited thoughts and words below.
Basically when you are living in a studio in the middle of nowhere your brain starts to get the compound flu. The outside world take on a haze that doesn't really play into your day to day while you are writing or working (at least if im doing it right its like this for me personally) We had a lot of time and equipment at our disposal and it was right at the beginning of quarantine when we started chipping away at this idea.
seemed the perfect time to be ambitious as art and love are the only ways for me to fight this world's whims right now and keep myself sane.
i have plenty of time to read the news and feel the burden after the studio but during this couple weeks we just threw ourselves into it
so here it is broken down track by track :
the opening holler and subsequent laugh that opens the album is a secretly recorded sample of our engineer/producer enrique being startled by a life size human child's spooky face i hung outside his bathroom window so when he turned the light on it was just there looking in from outside:) you have to keep it interesting on the ranch. this one is such a heavy on the protean threat album that i wanted to give it a sort of drug-drag and slow things down and manipulate the general mood. i was thinking early soft machine soft machine here in particular "we did it again" repetition to build a fugue
"Don't Blow Your Experiment"
an alice cooper cover we did deconstructed. opens with some field recordings and leans heavy into my love of wendy carlos for the intro
she is from my home town and holds a special place in my heart for electronic fundamentals and picking up the thread when i was a kid and first heard her music and renditions. (her new biography is great BTW) it just naturally morphed into tape loop kraut boogie which was quite fun to mess with. complete with flute, synths and clavinet
this is just a texture to get us from point B to point C
buchla and samples
inspired by frippertronics
long delays become textures that are unpredictable if they are pulled far enough apart and begat happy accidents
you can improvise for days on this jaunt
so since this is a "remix" record w definitely started to wander down the path of dance music more than usual (there are lots of outtakes..ha)
this one sort of naturally ended up bringing me back to selling acid at raves in providence when i was a kid and back to acts like squarepusher and aphex twin who ive always loved.
hard to feel bad with this music on
i added some lyrics to sort of make the song its own thing from the original on protean threat
"If I Had An Experiment"
this one was fun
some field recording samples
was taking it a sort of faust pop direction in my mind
but a bit more heavy contemporaries beat-wise like Container (fucking great x-providence artist)
again repetion equals hypo-ray
again faust worship
short and sweet and maybe a bit of tim presley worship
decimate, repeat, decimate , repeat.... ad nauseum
ive been loving these brittle guitar sounds lately
a blend of two outtakes
this one is tough because the original on protein threat is such a basher
so basically i just started by running the whole mix thru synths and then slowed it way down and redid the bass and cut it all up till it felt good
the bass is definitely harkening back to eddie harris' bass player on this wonderful perfect jam
wait for it....
dude really shines here, Rufus Reid
"Poem 2 With Horns"
a sample of horns being played in the street outside of hr giger's home last year when we visited on tour
with a poem that i wanted to fall into the weird and atmospheric areas of united states of america's LP
and again just a break for a breath between tunes
you sometimes just have to close with a good pop track
a shuffle with lots of samples of me breathing and mellotron
guitar shreddery a la michael karoli
id say it goes without saying that i worship his playing
i wanted this one to have lots of body sounds percussively
then blows in the synths and an outro that definitely has a deep affection for the passed members of Can
Panther Rotate is out Friday, December 11 on Castle Face Records. Osees has a UK tour scheduled for summer 2021 which you can purchase tickets via Osees' website. Below, watch Osees KEXP in-studio performance from 2019.