MUTEK 2023 | x/o explores the beauty between extremes with Chaos Butterfly

Entrevue réalisée par Laurent Bellemare
Genres et styles : Electronic

renseignements supplémentaires

In a style truly their own, x/o seemlessly exploits both power and vulnerability to create electronic pieces that are intricate, heavy and soothing. In particular, the vocals lead to many contrasting territories, some vaguely familiar and some new. Based in Vancouver, x/o is about to perform at Mutek’s Nocturne 2, Thursday 24th. Let yourself dive ahead of time in their world. 

Photograph credit : SKIBICKI

PAN M 360 : To the reader unaquainted with your music, how would you describe your sound and overall artistic approach?

x/o : My sound is a wide combination of different genres put together in a soundtrack like form. It’s like a film score to a movie that doesn’t exist. Some of the genres you might find include electronic, breakbeat, trip hop with elements of classical, metal and music box melodies. I’m also influenced by a lot of anime and video game media. Some of my favorites include Kaiba, Claymore, Nier Automata and the Final Fantasy series.

PAN M 360 : What is your musical or artistic background prior to starting x/o?

x/o : I’m a self-taught creative. Prior to doing electronic music, I did a lot of graphic design and I played in a band where I wrote songs with friends, sang and played around with guitar and keyboard. 

PAN M 360 : Your music is both soothing and heavy and could spark a discussion about musical genres. Rather, I’d like to ask how you begin to create a piece from scratch. Does it stem from an electronic sound, a vocal idea, or a non-musical concept?

x/o : For me, it’s very intuitive. It’s very explorative. A lot of times, I will start to just play with the keyboard and see what comes out. I like to be inspired by sounds that I hear. When I hear a sound that I like, it influences me to write music in a certain way or mood. And then when I start to build on that, then I start to think about what sounds excite me, what kind of feelings I want to feel in a song that sounds like this. A lot of times, you’ll hear two very different styles put into one. I love to hear very opposing sounds come together, I find it quite satisfying, in a way. As a music listener, I listen to all sorts of different genres and I like these different genres for different reasons. But I find it especially interesting when they come together in different ways.

PAN M 360 : What can audiences expect from your appearance at Mutek? What will you be presenting?

x/o : I’m presenting in audiovisual performance of my album Chaos Butterfly. Overall, the audiovisual performance uses fantasy narratives as an allegory to transcending societal norms in regards to gender. And the illustrations are also Fantasy-influenced and drawn by this incredible artist and collaborator NicoSaba. You can expect a full evolution from cocoon egg to Chaos Butterfly.

PAN M 360 : Having heard your album and read the liner notes, I know that there is complex symbolism underlining your music. In your own words, what non-musical ideas push you to create?

x/o : In my music I like to explore duality through a non binary lens. When it comes to either sound, or visuals, I like to take hyper-feminine and hyper-masculine tropes and combine them together to create something unique that encompasses many versions of itself. When you have these two very different things come together… I think it’s both the wholeness and the moments in between that are really beautiful.

PAN M 360 : Thank you very much!

x/o is playing on Thursday 24th at Mutek. Make sure to catch their set at Nocturne 2 (12:40AM) at SAT.

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