AMN Reviews: Ovro – Id | entities (Some Place Else)

“A summoned demon is yours to command” and it in turn has summoned legions, both inner and social. Id | entities is the audio collage version of a midnight movie, a cross between lurid horror and an old gumshoe serial like The Shadow (who knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men). It´s really scary, especially the female voices narrating intent for their helpless victims. Bodies, objectified and (de)sexualized, torture of both a physical and psychological nature, whispered threats, palpable fear – the flesh as medium.

Who is Ovro and why is she so giallo? Ovro is “Herself” according to the liner notes, an “experimental musician from Finland who began making minimal and dark ambient soundscapes in 2003,” and who has been working on Id | entities for the past four years. All sampling (“from good movies, from bad movies, famous movies, obscure movies”, field recording, instruments and vocals (aside from some male recitation, synthesizer and horns) were “composed, revised, turned, twisted, multiplied and subtracted” by Herself. She slices and grafts sampled scores onto her own music (including some previously unused work) with the deftness of a surgeon rather than a chainsaw wielding maniac, and does so with a great feel for drama, creating an industrial noir that builds tension again and again.

By slicing the plural of the title, she is also turning words into objects, harmed ones, “I.D.s” determined by examining “entities”, the sum of the parts that have been severed and scattered. Alternatively, as isolated ids, we are nothing but living, breathing Freudian instinct, aggression and appetite. On “Know Thyself,” a desperate man mumbles, “I know who I am,” trying to convince himself as the last shred of hope slips away.

The way Ovro sews the pieces back together, while Frankensteinian, is impressive. She enters Rashomon territory by asking whether the stories being told are those of one storyteller or an entire host, and if they are telling the same story or many.

Unfortunately, it would seem the label Some Place Else is in the process of shutting down all new production. But it still has this gruesome gem, wrapped in a huge, pretty disturbing fold-out poster, in stock.

Stephen Fruitman

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