OvO is a project that I have been following with great curiosity over the past few years — although not consistently — both because it was founded by two very interesting people (Stefania Pedretti and Bruno Dorella), and because it has always been about topics related in some way to the many things that, at least personally, I seek in music (and art in general).
Darkness, humanity, matriarchy, respect, consent, all things that — together with many others — compose the core philosophy of OvO. Let's begin with the fact that, after having worked with Supernatural Cat for their previous two records, this time the duo chose the emerging label Dio Drone (a name that you will find written in many different ways around the internet, including a "sunnized" version with parentheses). The "odd creature" featured on the cover artwork, apparently giving the album its name, was born from a drawing by Pedretti herself, before being revisited by the artist Coito Negato. It is a being born from the Abyss, still visible under its paws, and unaware of binary constrictions of species (human/animal) or sex (female/male) in a scenery curiosly reminiscent of the cover for "Unkown Pleasures". Its sight is set towards the starry sky, which it can join once again after having met its own end.
Concept-wise, this album deals with most of the duo's main themes, which are by the way also explored in their many extra-musical projects (such as Degender Fest). Through these sonic rituals, OvO try to bring us in touch with our innermost selves ("Satanam", "Creatura"), crossing a "Buco Nero" ("Black Hole") representing what we do not want to know. After this, we get out of the harsh chaos through "Buco Bianco" ("White Hole") leading up to the second half of the album, which makes it even clearer that one of the core themes is the "freak" and the perceptions of it coming from the outside world ("Immondo", which in this case is the Italian for "filthy"). This discourse comes at a close with the awareness arriving through the complicated understanding of our truest self.
As for music, Pedretti (vocals, guitars, field recordings) and Dorella (drums, percussions, synth) have once again explored a wide variety of different styles, though not really "belonging" to any of them. Of course, the creature escapes any easy labels and tries noise, doom, drone, ambient, and so on. Each track is a continuous overlapping of different sound layers, primal shrieks mashing with guitars, loops insistingly repeating again and again, destabilizing atmospheres created through the synth. This is perhaps the first OvO studio album that I have enjoyed in its entirety, and even managed to listen to over more times over a brief period.
This might be one of the most intense releases of the year in this non-scene: "Creatura" is officially released on December 9 and marks a great hit by the emerging Dio Drone. We are eagerly looking forward to OvO's long tour coming between the end of 2016 and 2017, that will take the duo around Italy and Europe (and then who knows where) for what has always been their best element, live performances.