OLLO - THE IF IF
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OLLO : The If If
• the second album from Sydney's own 'fun boy two' •

Album Of The Week [2SER 107.3FM]

"...an electro downbeat tour de force...
has to be one of the best albums I have heard this year.
"
[FurtherNoise.org]

Album Packet of the Week [FBi 94.5FM]

"Intimate and affecting" [Cyclic Defrost Mag]

Ollo + The If If - official soundtrackers
for the 2006 IF [Inside Film] Awards live on SBS TV

A-Rotation
[Campaign For Real Bread single, FBi 94.5FM]

"...a headphone treat... impressive..." [3D World]

"A sweaty and heaving carnival of hip jerking exotica... Classy stuff"
[The Sunday Experience on first single CFRB]

OLLO : Fun Boy 2
OLLO : Laundry
photo credits: Paul Gosney
CD 'The If If'
OLLO : Logo

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REACTIONS TO OLLO

The If If's first single, THE CAMPAIGN FOR REAL BREAD : A rotation FBi 94.5FM
"AWESOME!" [Popfrenzy] "That new bread song is killer!" [Dsico]
"...Glacially dipped ...crunchy beats...sophistication
and torch light majesty..." [Losing Today]

"Like an Aussie Beta Band
with a touch of the kind of playful sound of acts like Department of Eagles, Errors and Tunng. Very promising."
[Pure Groove, UK]

"Simply remarkable"
[Nerve Magazine, Canada]

"While this Australian duo's
self-compiled list of influences - Fourtet, Caribou, Air - turns out to be unusually instructive, this down-tempo acoustic number is particularly reminiscent of the mumbly warmth of the early Beta Band EPs, not so much in detail as in ambience. Promising stuff."
[#6 Anti-Hit List - Toronto Star, Canada]

"...a stream of cut-up samples
and DJ Shadow/jazz inspired drumming..."

[The Brag]

"This band exist in their own lil' universe.
Full to do the lazy 'sounds like', you can combine the best parts of Hot Chip, The Beta Band, Saint Etienne, Max Berlin, Vladislav Delay, Beck, Kraftwerk and Devo and you get close... Amazing album... Everybody loves it!"
[Seymour Butz, Club Kooky/Sauna Sessions]

"Sydney's quirky electronic-pop outfit Ollo
focus much more on pop, with more vocals and catchy melodies, on the follow-up to their 2002 debut Sleeper. Alex Crowfoot sings an enticing cover of Fun Boy Three's The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum). Elsewhere, Summer Salt explores the funky side of electronic instrumentals, while Gordian Knotted combines female lounge with unexpectedly crunchy electronica."
[Chloe Sasson, Metro Sydney Morning Herald]

"..Combining the ambient sensibilities of Matthew Herbert
and the lyrical reach of The Triffids, ollo return with a stunning and anthemic electronic workout with a fantastic cover of fun boy three's "the lunatics have taking over the asylum" on the flip...
ESSENTIAL STUFF..." [Rough Trade, London]

"It's rare that a duo
blends the heavily layered jamming of Can with the downtempo groove of Massive Attack, but Ollo succeeds with flying colours. On their 2nd full length these Australian multi-instrumentalists serve up a handful of Kraut Jams incorporating spastic live drums, wah-pedaled guitars and funk bass from space. If it's not the trippy guitar solos on Summer Salt that weave you into the boys interplanetary web it'll be the always shifting synth pads that reel you in and take you under." [XLR8R Mag, USA]

"...Alex Crowfoot and Lars Chresta aka Ollo
have created an electro downbeat tour de force with their new album The If If. Released through Groovescooter in Australia and 12 Apostles in Europe & the USA, this sparkling array of tracks veers between electro pop, break beat dub & sonic art. Many of the tracks have a vocal but are not necessarily songs and the ones that are have catchy melodies with a definite wry sense of observation. This is particularly so with Campaign For Real Bread, which unusually (these days) has also been released as a vinyl 7 " single and has a cheeky version of The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) as a double A. What also gives the album its originality is the wonderful array of instruments and sound sources that make up the Ollo pallette. Field recordings, oil barrels, flute, guitar, recorder, trumpet and a host of analogue synths or plug-ins, all brilliantly played, manipulated and programmed with great attention to detail. Vocalist Inga Liljestrom makes a guest appearance on the track Gordian Knotted, which I found slightly incongruous with the rest of the album, although not for any reason of ability, as she plainly has all the tune & soul of any diva I have heard. Having said that, it is a grower and is certainly helped along by some quirky beat programming and textural cut ups. Other notable tracks are Shaky Flaky with its infectious beat, dynamic instrumental build and a semi spoken Jarvis Cocker-esque vocal segueing seamlessly into the cinematic break beat workout of Wakey Moth, which starts with what sounds like sampled pigeon cut up and sequenced into the beat. The closing track Currawong Way is a walk through a forest or bush, the wide stereo bird song and thunder only contributing further to the album's unexpected nature and will certainly be a favourite for field recording fans. It really is this mix of styles and genres that gives the album its unique character. Just to show how talented these boys [are] they have also produced a great video to Campaign For Real Bread which can be viewed from Ollo's web site, a hub of information about them contain[ing] other videos from previous releases and tours. They also host an eclectic radio show EXTENDED PLAY, on Sydney's 2SER every Tuesday (check out their site for your own equivalent location times). The If If is an addictive, innovative collection of tracks which deserves all the acclaim it is being heralded with and has to be one of the best albums I have heard this year. Recommended."
[Roger Mills, FurtherNoise.org]

"You know an album is going to be different when
its opening line is 'I really should eat more bananas and get more exercise'. The second album from Sydney's Ollo, The If If, doesn't disappoint; it's a strange and imaginative collection of anti-pop songs that uses simple, melodic electronica to create trance-like soundscapes. Tracks like Phobegone Days and Summer Salt lull you into a false sense of serenity, then swirl and pulsate with soft energy, the lethargic Wakey Moth chugs along ever so slightly and the cover of Fun Boy 3's The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum) strips the song to its core and layers ghostly samples over drip-fed vocals. The level is never raised much beyond minimal until the penultimate track, The Campaign for Real Bread, that finally increases the volume and interest, before toning it down again to finish on That Sound. The result is an eerie and well crafted musical excursion where you never quite know where you're heading, or where you've just been. [Tim Duggan, Rolling Stone]

"Alex Crowfoot and Lars Chresta,
together with a series of friends and collaborators, make up the production team of Ollo. Till now, they've quietly existed as Perth's [sic] best-kept secret. That's about to change. With their latest record and first for 12 Apostles, they are now responsible for two well received albums and a handful of singles. Who knew Australia had formed a response to the Beta Band? Well, they did, and thank Gawd for that. While perpetually glossed with an synthetic sheen, The If If maintains a natural quirky jive that phases in and about the many layered samples, accented with playful drone vocals conveying mildly absurdist, post-modern lyrics and images, all of which cements the comparison to Edinburgh's favorite trip-hoppin' Greek letter group. Ollo easily passes through the membranes of indie rock, hip-hop, funk, and electronica without ever feeling uncomfortable in its own skin. Simply remarkable.
[Nerve Magazine, Canada]

"The palindromically titled pair behind Sydney
group Ollo have finally released a follow up to their 2002 debut Sleeper. That album was a shifting instrumental soundscape generally influenced by producers like Matthew Herbert. But things change. Two years ago they recorded a cover of Fun Boy Three's The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) with Alex Crowfoot singing. It was the first suggestion Ollo would (or could) make a leap sideways, and up, to pop, albeit off-kilter pop. The reaction to that song encouraged Alex to step out into the anti-gravity ... and singing... His vulnerability is there in every lyric on this new album, in the restraint of his delivery, mouth right up near to the microphone, his whispering voice spread across the speaker output. That's how the album starts, with the awkward insights of Trouble Is: "I really should eat more bananas and get more exercise / fend off this downward spiral." That vignette leads into Shaky Flaky, a tough drum break and organ-led Krautrock groove touched by Alex's relationship with Sydney band Tooth. A minute or two in and Alex starts singing, "Wakey wakey / hands off snakey," sounding just like Jarvis Cocker singing over a Barry Adamson number... At almost an hour, including tracks, the album focusses on Ollo's intimate and affecting songs, rather than the guests, making Alex's decision to bare his soul more sound investment than risky gamble."
[Matthew Levinson, Cyclic Defrost]

"...As well as being known for their DJ sets,
a radio show and various multimedia connections, [Ollo] were touted as one of Australia's hottest electronic artists to watch out for when their critically acclaimed debut album Sleeper was released in 2002. The upbeat Herbert-esque sounds of Ping Pong and the darker Prefuse 73 edges to tracks like Goat's Milk Silk... are still evident here. Yet this follow up takes things to more chilled territories, planting the listener in a relaxed atmospheric lounge room where frowning is banned. Smiling is instead encouraged by a meal of dreamy and dubby excursions into electronic noodling and mellow pop-infused beats, all between some tasty organic bread. The cover of Fun Boy 3's The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) is a well thought out down-beaten affair, the Campaign For Real Bread is so cute that it's intelligent comparison of politicians and advertising would go unrealised by many appreciating listeners and Shakey Flakey would compete well with Manitoba's sound. Shakey Flakey also showcases Ollo's delightful tendency for quirky humour, which is spread throughout the album... a very accomplished album and one difficult not to enjoy..."
[Aarom Wilson, Perth Drum Media]

"It's been a good four years since
the release of Ollo's debut album Sleeper, and this highly anticipated follow-up The If If certainly highlights considerable creative change within camp Ollo. While Sleeper showed the duo working predominantly within electronic music parameters, this second album shows Alex Crowfoot taking both the production and vocal reins, for a record that certainly places songwriting at its forefront. Those concerned about a corresponding loss in Ollo's 'electronic' side have little to fear however, as The If If represents something of a headphone treat, with literally hundreds of unexpected 'found sounds' scattered throughout its running length. The selection of creative collaborators enlisted here to flesh out Crowfoot's predominantly downbeat and lyrically contemplative constructions is certainly no less impressive. Kevin Purdy imbues the lazily groovy Shaky Flaky with a bluesy swagger amidst questing prog-rock keyboards and vinyl spinbacks that certainly hints at Tooth's epic landscapes, while Inga Liljestrom also contributes her soaring Euro-inflected chanteuse vibes to icy downbeat electro highlight Gordian Knotted. Chiefly however, this is Crowfoot's show, his smooth vocals infusing The If If with a far more personal and 'human' atmosphere than anywhere the duo have previously ventured."
[evilchris, 3D World Magazine]

"Hailing from Australia and with their fingers
firmly planted in numerous electronica flavoured pies including DJing, radio show presenting, visual creating, remixing, designing and general tomfoolery, Ollo released their debut album Sleeper in 2002 to an extremely warm reception from people in the know. Since then they have been busying themselves at various festivals, club nights, TV and radio shows and showcases, as well as remixing the likes of Neotropic, R.O.C. and The Dodgems. New album The If If falls somewhere between several comparisons. It is a bit like The Avalanches, only not quite as irreverent; it is a bit like Underworld, only not quite as avant garde; it is a bit like Morcheeba, only not quite as laid back; it is a bit like Royksopp, only not quite as melodic. That's not to say though that The If If is merely a reminder of what it isn't, and the intelligence and originality that it offers up mean that it has plenty to offer in its own right. Aside from Shaky Flaky, an energetic breakbeat track that bucks the general trend of the rest of the album, the tracks on the album are largely mellow, well constructed head bobbers, the best of which include brilliant title track The If If and the infectiously jazzy and intriguingly titled The Campaign For Real Bread, which is reminiscent of one of the finer musical offerings from The Mighty Boosh. In the general scheme of electronica, The If If is certainly more up there for thinking than it is down there for dancing, but is nonetheless well worth checking out. Expect to hear it issuing from the nearest hip lounge bar soon." [Subba-cultcha.com]

'Sleeper'
"Sublime and satisfying." [3D World Mag]
"Sleeper is atmospheric, with a slight pop sensibility and a heady dose of jazz
- a bit of moonless night with a touch of sun glinting off snow" [XLR8R Magazine, USA]
"Addictive summer listening...a mesmerising journey...serious(ly) beautiful music."
[InTheMix.com.au : Editor's Pick]
"An amazing sonic journey...musically arresting and clever...
perfectly plotted...an Australian dance album to get excited about"
[Paul Turner, SX Magazine]
"An aural alchemist...diverse and compelling." [Tim Ritchie, Radio National]
"Sleeper is nothing short of great, great record...
In a just world Sleeper's qualities would elevate the boys to the cultural heights currently ridden by kids like Manitoba, Fourtet and Prefuse 73" [Vibewire]

OLLO - MEDIA RELEASE / BIO

OLLO are ALEX CROWFOOT and LARS CHRESTA.
This second, long awaited album from Sydney's own 'fun boy two', is a meticulously crafted release. It draws together the critically acclaimed electronics of their 2002 debut SLEEPER, with the imaginative vocal-pop, dub and acoustic elements of the ensuing singles. Whilst remixing, touring live and DJing, these singles mapped a shifting landscape that ultimately informed the band's most ambitious project to date, THE IF IF. Their masterful cover of Fun Boy 3's The Lunatics [Have Taken Over The Asylum] won them many fans around the world (from Linda Evangelista to The Dissociatives), while their popular remix of punk group The Dodgems came in at #8 ON BBC Radio 1's end of year chart, The Festive 50. It's already tipped to be outdone by the new album's agitating first single, the brilliant CAMPAIGN FOR REAL BREAD (check the MySpace hoo-ha).

THE IF IF is the result of many months writing/recording
and includes album guests Rok Poshtya from The Herd, Inga Liljestrom, FourPlay's cellist Peter Hollo, UK trumpeter Roger Mills and Tooth's Kevin Purdy). Bridging the gap between the past, present and future, it's part pop, part dance, part downbeat home listening a sort of hermetic iPod. No matter what the mood or sound of each song, OLLO's consistently crafty approach is both a unique outsider's view of the world and a questioning plea from within. With an emotional, personal core, it's brimming with IDEAS, WIT, INSIGHT, TENDERNESS and EVOCATIVE LYRICS, matched with SMART PROGRAMMING and lovingly played instruments. Seeds for THE IF IF were sown during a writing sojourn to an isolated house in Australia's Southern Highlands. Later, tracsk were fleshed out in OLLO's own audio-lab before a final mix at Sydney's Tardis Studios, with ex-UK producer Mike Burnham (Mowax/Output etc).

The LP marks a radical shift for OLLO,
augmenting the fragmented vocal samples of their debut with a more fully-crafted 'song' approach. Songwriter ALEX CROWFOOT lends his vocal talents to a greater portion of the swirling mix, tackling subject matter ranging from love and risk, to death, depression and lead single, THE CAMPAIGN FOR REAL BREAD's anti-spin comparisons between the ridiculous claims of advertising and those of politicians. Alex can also be heard singing backups and playing keys on the first Astronomy Class single A Bright Tomorrow.

Apart from making two albums, DJing and remxing other artists
(see highlights below) OLLO have toured the USA and twice in Europe as well as Australia. In 2006 they played two show-stealing sets at London's Rough Trade showcase RoTA,and at Raison d'Etre in Shoreditch, as part of 12 Apostles' Charabanc event. They have also dipped their toes into improvisation with the UK's Neotropic, resulting in a 6-track performance called Time +Place transmitted on FBI radio. Several OLLO live shows have been broadcast live on both SBS and ABC radio, while OLLO member Lars Chresta's sound-sculpture work also extends into sound art through contributions to FBI Radio's experimental Sunday Night at the Movies programme and his sound-art performances at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and The Art Gallery of NSW. Lars also presents an eclectic and highly respected weekly radio show on Sydney's 2SER, called Extended Play.

OLLO HAVE TOURED WITH/ SUPPORTED THE FOLLOWING IN AUSTRALIA/EUROPE/AMERICA: Matthew Herbert // Neotropic // Mike Paradinas // Biosphere // R.O.C // Love of Diagrams // Tooth // Telemetry Orchestra and many more; and they have played at the Rough Trade Showcase [London] // Cockatoo Island // The Great Escape // Sydney Festival  

OLLO LINKS

Ollo Website: ollo.net.au

Ollo @MySpace: myspace.com/olloollo

Real Bread Campaign: myspace.com/realbread

Watch Ollo Video: YouTube.com - Ollo

Download The If If: Ollo on iTunes

Read an Interview: Ollo on SameSame

OLLO REMIX/SINGLE HIGHLIGHTS
A View To A Kill [remake of Duran Duran's James Bond theme] • Stewart & Melville [remix] • Dsico: Hungover Again [remix] • R.O.C. (UK): Journey to the Centre of Brixton [remix] • The Dodgems [remix: #8 BBC Radio 1] • The Lunatics (from Triple J Album Of The Week Refashioned 2)

 

TRACKLISTING : OLLO 'The If If' [GS016 Groovescooter Records]
01
Trouble Is

02
Shaky Flaky
03
Wakey Moth
04
The If If
05
Phobegone Days
06
Everywhere Nowhere
07
Gordian Knotted [remix of Inga Liljestrom]
08
The Lunatics [Have Taken Over The Asylum]
09
Summer Salt
10
The Campaign For Real Bread [extended vers.]
11
That Sound
Hidden Tracks
12
Sweet Sorrow
13
Currawong Way

 

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