Xeno & Oaklander: Sets & Lights (CD Review)

Sets & Lights

Xeno & Oaklander

Wierd Records CD

Brooklynite alt electronica duo Xeno & Oaklander certainly channel eighties New Wave references points in their arrangements: loops, programmed beats, reverberant vocals, and the like. But their latest long-player isn’t merely derivative; it transmutes these signatures into something far less celebratory than their first incarnation. Indeed, the reiterations can seem positively icy, like drops of sleet on a road replete with hairpin turns.

As one can see from the video below, themes of isolation and uneasiness are incorporated into X&O’s lyrics and pacing. Thus, Set & Lights recalls dark wave too, except its tempi are too quick. Better instead to think of it as the relentless energy of a dance club unleashed upon a solitary dancer: attempting to break them free from isolated reverie.

X&O’s European Tour

Oct. 31st UK, London @ Brixton Windmill
Nov. 1st Paris, France @ La Mécanique Ondulatoire
Nov. 2nd Paris, France @ La Mécanique Ondulatoire(Martial Canterel)
Nov. 3rd Lyon, France @ Le Sonic
Nov. 4th Antwerp, Belgium @ De Kleine Hedonist
Nov. 5th Chemnitz, Germany @ Subway to Peter
Nov. 7th Esslingen (near Stuttgart), Germany @ Komma
Nov. 8th Vienna, Austria @ Morrisson Club
Nov. 11th St. Gallen (near Zurich), Switzerland @ Palace
Nov. 12th Mirano (near Venice), Italy @ Moon Club
Nov. 14th Prague, Czech Republic @ Cover Place
Nov. 15th Cologne, Germany @ Blue Shell
Nov. 16th Kosice, Slovakia @ Refresh Festival
Nov. 17th Berlin, Germany @ King Kong Club
Nov. 19th Moscow, Russia @ Artplay/Waveform Party

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