In a pedicab, on the cobblestone sidewalk, from the back of a horse-drawn carriage and atop a brightly-lit stage, ooberfuse are administering a summer pop melody that is bound to get you moving in the music video for “Call My Name.” The video was shot around the world while ooberfuse were on their last tour, but it doesn’t feel like a big budget pop video at all. On the contrary, it looks and feels like excerpts from someone’s old home movies, and though the nameless people in the video have no speaking lines, their faces tell stories that the track (Paul Kennedy’s “Radio Edit” from the Call My Name remix EP) echoes sonically. Music builds a bridge from one culture to another, and though it’s not directly stated in Cherrie Anderson’s lyrics, the narrative here could easily be interpreted as being about traveling as much as it is romance. It’s a buffet of emotions, textures and superbly surreal harmonies, and it’s my pick for best new electronica video out this July.
Besides Kennedy’s mix and the music video that we hear it in, the other remixes on Call My Name tell us a lot about who ooberfuse are today, and more importantly, what they’ll sound like as we move closer towards 2020. The “Push The Frequency Festival Mix” sees them embracing dream pop and adding a little bit of embellishment to the bottom-end tonality of the bassline. “Call My Name – Hal St John Radio Edit” doesn’t just have all the right pieces to play well with rock n’ roll fans, it actually is an alternative rock song. “The Noise” remix was built to spill out of your car speakers and onto the asphalt around your vehicle, destroying whatever evenness in the road that might have existed before your sound system showed up. “Call My Name – Patrik Kambo Radio Edit” goes back and forth between house and club beats, trading off between the two as to save maximum vitality in Anderson’s vocal track, and even if it is strangely similar to Paul Kennedy’s video soundtrack, a metallic edge in the percussion reminds us that it’s definitely Kambo operating the controls here. What all of these inimitable variations on the same song add up to is an alternative to contemporary pop music that many of us have been itching to hear for too long now.
It isn’t often said about a record that’s also an easy sell to EDM enthusiasts, but ooberfuse’s Call My Name is a deeply brooding, affectively meaningful release from a band that I had admittedly not given enough credit to in the past. The music video is a standard-setter, but what it does for this duo’s credibility cannot be compared to what the collection of remixes that the EP contains inevitably will. There aren’t a lot of British alternative acts that are experimenting with their sound on this front, and when you combine that with Cherrie Anderson’s voice and the awesomely skilled instrumental hand of Hal St John, we end up with a band that I would tell any legitimate music aficionado to closely follow this summer.