Experimental synth duo Xeno & Oaklander go pop on Hypno | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Experimental synth duo Xeno & Oaklander go pop on Hypno


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Brooklyn duo Xeno & Oaklander (aka Sean McBride and Liz Wendelbo) have been blending electronic experimentation with pop music for five full-length albums and more than a decade, layering strange synths with hushed, hook-driven vocals. McBride and Wendelbo have pushed their sonic minimalism in many directions, including stark cinematic soundscapes and heady drones, but on the brand-new Hypno (their first album for Dais), they try shaking off their fascination with challenging sounds to take a stab at straightforward dance pop. Their true colors still shine through the album’s melodic turns, though: the beats glitch more than pound, the vocals feel disconnected and foreign, and an eerie murk hovers above the whole record. It all adds up to a fun, addictive record—Xeno & Oaklander are just as good at making you move as they are at making you think.   v

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