Band of the Day

2012.07.11

Mokhov

Warm, thoughtful electronic anthems friendly for dance clubs and boutiques
Echoes of everything from the cold, mechanical pulse of Kraftwerk to the fractured break beats of DJ Shadow to Mouse On Mars' glitch pop emanate below the surface of Days
from Band of the Day Review

Mokhov is the stage name of Oleg Mokhov, the Russian-American electronic music producer who resides in San Francisco, California. His productions are influenced by electronic musicians such as Aphex Twin, Four Tet, and Boards of Canada. His productions were initially offered on three 3-track releases on netlabels, which are all free downloads: Glass Soul EP, Purity EP, and Midnight Love EP. In July 2011 he released his first full-length, Halcyon Days, which collected the nine previously mentioned tracks and added a new track called "Eternal Wings". In October 2011 record label Made in Glitch released his first new material since his first full-length on the 4-track release Kickback EP. Mokhov also founded the podcast network BlueRize and on it has interviewed other electronic musicians about the topics of music production and business "by a musician, for musicians".

Let it never be said that Oleg Mokhov doesn't think highly of his own music. About his debut full-length Halcyon Days, the Bay Area-based producer and DJ puts forth this bold claim: "[It] could be one of the best debut electronic albums of all time." While history will be the judge of that, his chutzpah might not in fact be misplaced.

The Russian-born musician has obviously spent a long time studying his forebears - echoes of everything from the cold, mechanical pulse of Kraftwerk to the fractured break beats of DJ Shadow to Mouse On Mars' glitch pop emanate below the surface of the emotion-rich compositions on Days (actually a collection of previous released singles) and most recently on his EP Kickback.

Released on the digital-only label Made In Glitch, the four songs on Kickback have a romantic undercurrent to them. A soulful, pleading voice sings out the title of "Your Heart" over a flicker trill of piano and an unsteady beat. Two songs feature the word "kiss" in the title, with each tempering yearning synth melodies with steely processed percussion. You may want to smooch someone after hearing those songs, but there's an implicit warning that the lip lock may be a dangerous one.

Where Mokhov really shines is in his work as a remixer. Throughout his still-burgeoning career, the producer and DJ has turned tracks by everyone from Burial and James Blake to Kanye West and Bon Iver inside out, adding gleaming beats and thrumming energy to each one. Kanye's "All of the Lights" becomes a skittish bit of bubble funk, almost unrecognizable from the original; the backing track of the Oasis classic "Wonderwall" gets sent 3,000 feet underwater and forced to fight for room against Mokhov's dub-hop blasts.

So, whether or not you agree with Mokhov's assertion of his debut as being one of the greatest ever released, there's no denying the man's talent. He's just going to have to calmly wait for the rest of the world to catch up with him. Shouldn't be too much longer.