Album Premiere: OY’s ‘No Problem Saloon’

Wondering Sound Staff

By Wondering Sound Staff

on 06.23.14 in News

On their latest album, No Problem Saloon, Berlin’s OY turn the sounds of traditional African music inside out. Fronted by Swiss-Ghanian vocalist Joy Frempong, they bounce from twinkling electro-highlife to thumping synthetic afrobeat to hundreds of other regional variations, all of them recreated with synths and clattering electronic production. The lyrics are just as globally-minded. On “Hallelujah! Hair!”, Frempong extols the virtues of her natural frizzy hair. On the eerie, twisting “Millionaire in Beggar’s Wear,” she slyly dismantles haughtiness and hypocrisy. If No Problem has a recent sonic parallel, it’s the most recent record by tUnE-yArDs, but OY’s album is, at points, darker and more mysterious. It’s wonderfully complex and fascinating.