Different styles of music are crafted with different intentions. Some sounds are meant for the club; others, individual introspection. Certain strains of house music and drum and bass value danceability over all. Vocal genres, like hip-hop, emphasize lyricism. Heavy “tearout” dubstep embodies an aggressive, frenetic release. And deep dubstep is made as a meditation – a special sonic pocket for the head-nodders lining the fringe of the dance floor.
Sometimes, creative composition is easy to identify. Experimental “future bass” styles follow a postmodern ethos, where each individual sound within each individual beat serves as a stimulus in its own right, and the piece as a whole is a mosaic or collage. In dubstep, originality can be more complicated to pinpoint. The genre adopts a strict structure: even tracks that stand out alone are meant to be mixed with others. Repetition is an inherent characteristic of the sound. Producers, DJs, and fans struggle to define what exactly constitutes as creativity within such stringent parameters. The answer is nearly impossible to put into words – but we know it when we hear it.
So Oxóssi’s meteoric rise in the dubstep community is not a surprise. His tunes follow the familiar 140 formula that the heads consider home – yet they’re unlike any dubstep tunes we’ve heard before. As a producer, Oxóssi has a distinct sound that is definitively his own. He incorporates unique instrumental elements, often those with a naturally hollow echo – organs, woodwinds, dampened percussion. Many of his productions, like the Solace EP (Crucial Recordings) as a whole, seem to be built around words. The first track on the EP, “Solace”, features piercing vocals from Rider Shafique. Both “Reflections” and “The Tempest” spotlight profound spoken word samples, each capturing a different aspect of dubstep’s underlying philosophy.
The Los Angeles-based artist has a fantastical touch for revealing the intrinsic patterns contained by chaos. Some DJs shine most in the moment when they disrupt a carefully constructed flow with cacophony. When Oxóssi is on the decks, the cacophony becomes the flow itself. His mixes don’t just mimic the natural order of the universe. They encompass it. In the dance, this quality inspires something sacred. When Oxóssi played on the transcendental Tsunami Bass Experience system in New York City, the audience took the “eyes down” philosophy a step further by simply laying down on the bass platform in the center of the room. It was epic.
In the religion of Yoruba and Brazilian tradition, "Oxóssi" is the spirit of the hunt, symbolized by the arrow. He represents wealth and good fortune. As explained by Wikipedia, he “[hunts] for good influences and positive energies.” The alias could not be more appropriate. Oxóssi’s Brazilian background likely accounts for much of the unique, almost exotic influences drawn into his productions. His music is epitomized by a powerful and immersive spiritual quality. Plus, those with an ideological attraction to dubstep understand how the image of a spirit bearing goodwill complements lines like, “the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming and walk hand in hand into extinction.”
Oxóssi’s music finds fitting homes on labels like Sleeper’s Crucial Recordings and Silent Motion Records, where his Buried EP was released digitally and on vinyl last month. He is featured on the Los Angeles EP forthcoming on Gourmetbeats, alongside Mesck, Introspekt, and Subtle Mind. As one of – or perhaps the – most inventive producer(s) to rise from America, Oxóssi’s music garners widespread attention well beyond the confines of California. His decisively original sound has already invited comparisons to Gantz from some of the international community’s biggest names. The two artists have in common an unprecedented level of creativity and respectively distinct sounds – their styles are complementary, but hardly similar. Still, if past patterns bear any insight into future trends, the implied parallel suggests that Oxóssi may become one of the most imitated artists in the scene today.
Keep an ear to Oxóssi on SoundCloud and Facebook, and visit his agency page for tour dates, booking information, and more.