Pop/Rock

Hail to the Titans, Oulipo

When: Wed., July 25 2012

OULIPO This young Raleigh quintet named themselves after an experimental early-’60s writers group that included the novelists Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, who relied on constrained writing techniques to play with — and revitalize — the traditional format of the novel. (Perec’s Life, A User’s Manual, structured around a single moment in time, is the most famous example). It’s a stretch to suggest Oulipo have managed to do the same with music after just one EP. (Another is in the works, and the new “Tectonic” single is dubby-riffic!) The band’s particular constraints are that the members go to different colleges in the Carolinas and record on limited equipment — main-man Ryan Trauley’s recording technique consists of a camcorder microphone and video-editing production program. Whatever they’re doing, they should keep it up. They’re working the same polyrhythmic/tribal territory as bands like Yeasayer, Le Loup and Animal Collective. The five songs on Oulipo’s That Is What I Said (And I Dove Into the Water) blend some neat inspirations — J Dilla loops and beats, Caribou textures, Talking Heads structures — into a fresh sonic tableau that’s best when it stretches out from twitchy dance rhythms into hypnotic psychedelic territories. The results are remarkably mature for a debut and a lot more interesting than Animal Collective’s repetitive glo-stick shtick. Opening for Hail the Titans.

John Schacht

Price: $6

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