In the tradition of the DIY Minimal Wave
and Synthpop bands of the 1980's, Xeno & Oaklander
make music with strict guidelines: no digital instruments or recording. The New York-based duo of Sean McBride
(of the quite excellent synth-project Martial Canterel
) and Liz Wendelbo
implemented the exclusive use of analogue synthesizers, instruments and equipment to write and record their darkly brilliant debut full-length, Sentinelle
(one of our 20 Dark Music albums of 2009
,on the always-superb Wierd Records
). Recently, I got the chance to have the band expand on these principles as they were preparing for a series of upcoming globe-trotting live dates
in New York, Rotterdam and Paris. Please, get to know...Xeno & Oaklander.
Black Light District: First things first. Why is analogue better than digital?
Analogue is immediate and raw. Sean McBride:
It's alive -- a current which can be shaped in infinite ways. It's quite elemental, like fire.
BLD: Sentinelle is available on CD and LP, but being an exclusively analogue band in a digital age, do you prefer vinyl? Your presentation as a band seems pretty complete in sound, concept and artwork – so in the age of downloads and streaming, how important is the physical piece to you?
I'm fond of the weight of objects. SM
: The physicality of vinyl has some earthly origin. LW
: ...with traces, marks and scratches.